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False Bay Wild Yeast Chenin Blanc
False Bay Wild Yeast Chenin Blanc

Country of Origin: South Africa

Region: Western Cape

Grape Varieties: Chenin Blanc

Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%

Food Matches: A versatile wine equally well suited to partner lobster and other seafood, risotto or herb roast chicken.

Special Features: Vegan, Award Winner

2011 Vintage: Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 - Bronze
2010 Vintage: Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 - Commended
2010 Vintage: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2011 - Silver
2009 Vintage: IWC 2010 - Silver
2008 Vintage: Sommelier Wine Awards 2009 - Gold list & By the Glass Award
2008 Vintage: Decanter World Wine Awards 2009 - Bronze
2008 Vintage: IWC 2009 - Bronze


Price: £6.72
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Tasting Notes: Wild yeast fermentation is the key to the mouthfeel and weight of this wine. The long wild yeast ferment provides bready aromas and additional complexity to the wine. Dried herbaceous notes, including fennel and aniseed from the nearby Fynbos, dominate the nose, followed by a creamy lemon character. The palate is reminiscent of the nose, with great textural complexity (attributable to the long, slow wild yeast fermentation), and more herbal characters.

Producer Details: Established by Paul Boutinot, False Bay Vineyards is a company that has grown out of many years of involvement in South Africa, which began at a time when their wines and potential was just being recognised. With knowledge and respect within the South African wine industry, Paul Boutinot has been able to source top quality grapes for the re-launch of False Bay. First discovered by sailors confusing it for Table Bay to the north, False Bay has long been a haven for those navigating the treacherous Cape of Good Hope. The cool coastal breeze which sweeps off the Indian Ocean temper the ripening process, extend the growing season and produce expressive wines with more precise varietal characters and purity. These lifted aromas make the wines accessible, perfectly balanced and full flavoured.

In The Vineyard: Many of South Africa’s best vineyards historically fed their grapes into the anonymity of co-operative cellars. These jewels are waiting to be discovered by enterprising viticulturists & winemakers. Werner Engelbrecht discovered this particular old and seemingly neglected bush vine vineyard when he assisted a young viticulturist with the classification of vineyards for a co-operative winery. He immediately set into motion the sub contracting of what he believed to be a very special vineyard to False Bay Vineyards.
Herds of quagga (a sub species of plains zebra) once roamed here, hunted by the Khoisan people, but more effectively so by the colonists, who ensured the animal’s eventual extinction. A legacy of the wild horses (wilde paarden) is the name of the mountain, Perdeberg in Afrikaans or more commonly Paardeberg. It is a somber, massively sprawling rise of granite outcrop encircled and highlighted by swathes of wheat fields and wide angled vistas stretching to the craggy silhouette of mountains dividing the interior coastal belt. It lies between Paarl & Malmesbury, a mere hour away from Stellenbosch. It is also the home of False Bay Chenin Blanc.
The False Bay Chenin Blanc vineyard is not the sort of vineyard that will win prizes for appearances. You will be shocked if you expect neat monocultural rows of regimented wines, standing in gleaming bare earth. What makes these vineyards so exciting for us is the fact that fine and distinctive adventures in terroir are to be found, rather than ultra-ripe, super extracted fruit. The decomposed granite characteristics of the Perdeberg mountain seem to deliver a wine of structural finesse and minerality, more terroir driven than the Swartland in general.
The vines are left to struggle for what water they can find – generally, thanks to an element of retentive clay, there is enough, yet in drier years our response might have to be to drop of some crop (not that there was much to start with). Fortunately, more often than not, one of nature’s kindnesses here is a well-timed rainfall in December, prior to veraison.
Production is limited, but Werner is already working hard to isolate and successfully contract vineyards of similar potential. In essence, what he is doing is rediscovering the Swartland region, by centering on the island of Paardeberg

In The Winery: Picking early in the morning, the grapes were de-stemmed before going into a separator. Free run juice was separated from the skins immediately and allowed to settle at 12 degrees Celcius for 24 hours. No enzymes were used to aid the settling & the press juice was discarded. No cultured yeasts were used and took 8 weeks to complete the fermentation. The wine was left on the secondary lees for another 5 months before bottling. A small portion of the wine was fermented & matured in new 600l French barrels.

 
1 Product Reviews - Average rating 4 / 5 (Show All)

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Excellent Value

Arthur N - 01/03/2014

What a cracking wine fresh fruity flavours with a clean crisp finish worth every penny.

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