(does Chenin have any overt varietal character, BTW?)
Bob Henrick wrote:Paul, first welcome back from your travels.
Dan Smothergill wrote:I read lots about the renaissance in South African Chenins. Apparently they were overcropped and treated poorly for years, but those from the new generation that I've tried haven't been much to talk about. But then I try to stay below $15 or so.
Paul B. wrote: I'll definitely keep on trying them, as I'm sure there's a reason for why the grape has earned such favour in South African vineyards over the decades.
Hoke wrote:Don't base your estimation of SA Chenin on the single example. Keep at it, Paul. Your epiphany will happen.
I'm not very good at descriptors. Hope others will chime in and help.
The best Chenin usually shows a honeyed character overlaying an astonishing acidity, acidity that can screech when young, or when made from under ripe grapes or in bad years, but when it is balanced between fruit and acidity and sugars, it can have an enticing aroma of wet straw or hay---not moldy, mind you, but fresh wet hay, like walking through a field of grass and flowers after a spring rainfall!
But Chenin also can have a haunting, hard-to-describe character, sometimes like fresh melons, sometimes like a sweet/sour sauce, sometimes like tamarind. Sometimes it is more floral; sometimes the fruit dominates
Paul, if you want a challenging, non-blousy, non-flabby, severe wine, and want to combine all those characteristics with the chenin grape, try a Savennieres. There are usually bone dry, complex, and have real 'soul'. The only one (besides the Baumard Cuvee Ancienne NV I noted earlier) available right now in Ontario is the 2002 Soucherie Clos des Perrieres Savennieres (about $24). I haven't tried it, but given the producer, vintage, and price, it sounds like it would be worth a punt.Paul B. wrote:I love challenging, non-easy, non-easy-going wines with verve and an electrifying personality; wines with edges. I do love severity in my wines, and I see Pinotage as having been a largely "severe" kind of red. ... I absolutely can't stand blowsy, flabby, glycerolic, high-alcohol wines that fit such a description, for example.
John S wrote:Paul, if you want a challenging, non-blousy, non-flabby, severe wine, and want to combine all those characteristics with the chenin grape, try a Savennieres.
Savennieres is a wonderful choice Paul, but a couple of cautions. It has to have at least four or five years on it, so if you can't buy one with time on, plan on laying it down for a while. Secondly avoid '03 like the plague.
Bob Henrick wrote:Paul, I think I have a couple bottles of 1996 Baumard savennieres in the cellar. I will try to remember to put one in with my Mo'Cool wines and we will taste it either at the picnic, or in the hotel. Your choice.
Bob Henrick wrote:Paul, I think I have a couple bottles of 1996 Baumard savennieres in the cellar. I will try to remember to put one in with my Mo'Cool wines