The style of this single vineyard Chenin Blanc was inspired by the great Vouvray Demi-Sec’s (literally half dry) from the Val de Loire in France. These lovely age worthy Chenins, of which Domaine Huet ‘Le Mont’ is one of Jasper’s favourites, can be enjoyed with spicy food, such as curries or with savoury sauces and is also a natural partner to wasabi and sushi. Due to the great natural acidity of Chenin Blanc (colloquially called ‘Steen’), it can result in wines with unbelievable balance and poise even with residual sugar of 16-19 g/l. This wines style is totally determined by the conditions and can therefore only be produced in exceptional years.
A toasty marmalade, hint of orange blossom, pineapple, lime and honey nougat character on the nose gives way to a fresh acidity on the mid pallet, ending in a long lingering finish, with orange peel, grapefruit and charry vanilla.
Rooted in the oldest viticulture soil in the world, it is made up of decomposed granite on the lower slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. This vineyard enjoyed the refreshingly cool breezes from False Bay (Atlantic Ocean) during the day and cool night air flowing down the mountain, resulting in even ripening of the berries and good natural acidity. The macro climate is maritime, with cold wet winters and sunny warm summers. Certified heritage block with SA Old Vine Project, planted 1981.
Harvested from a 0.6 ha, 38-year-old single vineyard, it is naturally low yielding at only 3 tons/ha, or 19 hectolitre/ha. Biodynamic (organic) practices are followed and therefore no herbicides or chemical sprays were used in the production of these grapes. The fruit was hand-picked in small picking bins to ensure that perfect grapes reached the cellar.
Whole bunch pressed grapes fermented with wild yeast in matured French Puncheons. It is also aged in these barrels sur lie for 10-12 months. In line with our ultra-natural and terroir-driven approach, the wine received no enzymes, no fining and was bottled unfiltered. Although the wine is drinking well now, we recommend further cellaring, as the wine will improve with maturation for another 10 years.
Winemaker – Jasper Raats & Hendrien de Munck
Alc: 12.95% ; RS: 16.2 g/l ; TA: 6.4 g/l ; pH: 3.09
Platter 4.5 stars Wine Guide 2019; Tim Atkin 95 MW 2017; 95 Runner–up white wine of the year– Stellenbosch Wine Review 2019