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Stark-Conde, Monk Stone Chenin Blanc Jonkershoek Valley 2021

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Jancis Robinson
"Winemaker Rüdger Van Wyk’s eyes light up when he tells me about this Chenin grown on their high, cool, granite vineyards. The wine undergoes spontaneous fermentation in a 50:50 mix of neutral, second-fill Allier French oak barrels and amphorae, but ‘no terracotta Italian what-what stuff – it’s all from South Africa; South African clay’, he adds with pride. pH 3.1, TA 7.6 g/l.
Surrounded by South Africans, I started to slip into my childhood lingo, and wrote: naartjies and cream. Naartjies are clementines or satsumas, but in southern Africa they’re a bit different to what we get here in the UK. Sweeter, more intense. A striking spine and vertical tension on a wine that weaves a tapestry of textures and flavours. Praline nuttiness plays into musk-melon sweetness, parma-violet lime-spiked florals dancing like fireflies above silk-ribbon and wet-concrete texture. A texture that lengthens the lime-peel-oil bitter twist that drives this wine into a racy, focused, grippy, smoky finish. A wine to be taken very seriously. This will age. And I would age it. 17.5/20 points (TC)."

Vinous Reverie Notes
Winery: Chenin Blanc is a relatively rare varietal in our area of Stellenbosch but the higher, cooler slopes and granite soils are well suited to producing an intense, mineral style. This complex, finelycrafted Chenin Blanc was matured in a combination of handmade clay amphorae and neutral French oak barrels to build texture on the palate coupled with freshness. The Monk Stone Chenin Blanc gets its name from the large boulder which punctuates the dramatic vineyard block, situated at an elevation of approximately 300m. Hovering high above the valley, this bush-vine vineyard is planted along dramatic terraces which were sculpted to prevent rain erosion. The wave and ripple patterns formed by these terraces, together with the large boulder recall a traditional Japanese rock garden, and hence the name “Monk Stone.” Tasting NotesAn intriguing and inviting bouquet of guava and quince with a note of Creme Brulee. On the palate, there is a fine tension between the seeming lightness of mouthfeel and the depth of fruit. The finish is long with a persistent minerality. This is an age-worthy Chenin Blanc from a cool, high-altitude site.


South Africa
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Chenin Blanc
Jancis Robinson:

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