Radford Dale, The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2019 Bottle size: 750mlSouth Africa, Stellenbosch
'Alex Dale refers to Chenin Blanc as "South Africa's noblest grape" and it's hard to disagree when you taste a wine like this. Elegant and subtly wooded, this is all about balance and freshness, with fennel and lemongrass aromas, lemon and green apple flavours and the concentration and extract to age. Drink 2021-27' – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 95/100
'From a 1969 Stellenbosch vineyard, grapes were picked on 17 January, the earliest ever – alcohol is 11.5%. Aromatics of flowers, dried herbs, citrus and peach. The palate has good fruit expression, nicely integrated acidity and ever so slight phenolic grip to the finish. This has plenty of verve while simultaneously having layers of flavour and is certainly not underdone.' – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 94/100
'Chenin Blanc accounts for 80% of Radford Dale's white wine production and 50% of their total production. This wine is made from a vineyard formerly supplying fruit to the co-op. First bottled in 2009. 'The name is a nod to the gains made in this vineyard, and in the category of Chenin Blanc, the modern-day Cape great.' Planted in 1969, this single block of unirrigated bush-vine Chenin sits in the foothills (Polkadraai Hills) of the Helderberg Mountain, facing south-east across False Bay. Some of the grapes were whole-bunch pressed, some skin-macerated. The free-run juice was settled for two days before being poured into barrel. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out entirely in old oak barrels (using only ambient yeast) for 8–10 weeks under cool conditions (fermentation peaking at about 18 °C). Malolactic conversion was inhibited by the cold. The wine was kept on its primary lees throughout maturation, racked out of barrel after 9 months, assembled and then allow to settle for a month prior to bottling. Screwcap.
There is a more definite impression of oak on the nose compared with The Revelation Chenin just tasted. More creamy/mealy. But still plenty of fruit: citrus and green apple. Good intensity on the palate, precise and sharp-edged without being mean. Long, fresh aftertaste. Crisp acidity and still balanced – quite an achievement at such a modest alcohol level.' – Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, 16.5+/20
Alc: 11.5% | TA: 6.1 g/L | PH: 3.29
About Radford Dale:
Alex Dale and Ben Radford are the founders of Radford Dale. Alex and his team produce only the most individual, terroir-focused wines under the Radford Dale range. They own some vineyards but also co-managing parcels of the best vines with growers in other regions. They follow a minimal intervention winemaking approach and their dedication to nature, geology and climate is beautifully expressed in their wines.
|Blend information||100% Chenin Blanc|
|Drink to||Drink or cellar|
|Producer information||Alex Dale and Ben Radford are the founders of Radford Dale. Alex and his team produce only the most individual, terroir-focused wines under the Radford Dale range. They own some vineyards but also co-managing parcels of the best vines with growers in other regions. They follow a minimal intervention winemaking approach and their dedication to nature, geology and climate is beautifully expressed in their wines.|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JS: James Suckling | JR: JancisRobinson.com | JD: Jeb Dunnuck | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator