Luddite Chenin Blanc 2014
Produced by Niels Verberg in the Bot Rivier area of South Africa, the Luddite Chenin was produced in old wooden barrels to allow the natural grape expression to come through. The wine was left on lees for 12 months with regular batonnage – no sulphur was added to allow the wine to develop its own characteristics without any intervention. Niels Verburg has now given us his idiosyncratic interpretation of this versatile grape made from two vineyards in the Bot River region, one from the Van der Stel pass – 60-year-old vines, the other from a youthful block in front of the winery. The grapes are harvested a month apart. (Bot is not short for botrytis by the way). The grapes are hand harvested and destemmed, but then fermented on skins in open plastic bin fermenters with a twenty-day maceration using indigenous yeast, before being aged in old wooden barrels for one year. The wine undergoes full malolactic fermentation, is lightly filtered and receives a tiny amount of sulphur at bottling. Those expecting a chest-beating Luddite boom-bastic wine might be surprised by the mineral restraint and sheer fybos-inflected urgency of this Chenin. As per the blend of the two vineyards, this has youthful energy underwritten by old vine mineral depth.
The Luddite Chenin is a rich wine, there is yellow peach, melons, raisins and spice. Great fruit sweetness, balanced by clean, citrus tones create a beautifully balanced wine with a refreshing finish. There were only 3,850 bottles of this vintage produced. This wine is made Naturally.