DeMorgenzon and Kleine Zalze among standouts in Chenin Challenge

Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge Bottle Sticker 2016THE WINNERS of the 2016 Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge include five of the top wines in the SA Chenin Classification based on track records spanning the past 10 years. Of these beauties, two stand out as the country’s most successful Chenins on local and international podiums this year: DeMorgenzon Reserve 2015 and Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection 2015, with the KZ also among the best-value contenders at R80 a bottle!

Lovely stuff, the product of South Africa’s most widely planted grape variety from vineyards that include mature plantings renowned for the complexity and interest value that they can contribute – the Spier 21 Gables and The Bernard Series, for example, coming from vines that are 43- and 45-years-old on average.

Number of wines entered in the 2016 Challenge: 124. Wines judged ‘blind’ as regards vintage, cellar treatment and technical analysis, with the panel tasting over three days using a 20-point scoring system. The jury: Winemag.co.za’s Christian Eedes (chair), UK wine columnist Jamie Goode, Cathy van Zyl MW, sommelier Higgo Jacobs, wine scribe Samarie Smith and Test Kitchen sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka.

2016 CHENIN BLANC TOP 10 CHALLENGE WINNERS

Allée Bleue Chenin Blanc 2015
R65pb from cellar in Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek

Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2015
R160pb from Franschhoek Cellar (fruit from Paarl, Stellenbosch, Durbanville). Also a winner at Top 100 SA Wine Challenge and a silver medallist at SA Trophy Wine Show. Among Top 10 in SA Chenin Classification

Boschendal Sommelier Selection Chenin Blanc 2015
R85pb from cellar in Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek (fruit from Paarl, Stellenbosch, Somerset West)

DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015
R225pb from cellar in Stellenbosch Kloof. Also winner of a trophy at International Wine Challenge and a gold medal at Decanter Awards. Among Top 10 in SA Chenin Classification

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015
R160pb from cellar in Stellenbosch. Also a silver medallist at SA Trophy Wine Show

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2015
R80pb from cellar in Stellenbosch. Also winner of gold and silver medals at Decanter Awards, Mondial, SA Trophy Wine Show and International Wine Challenge. Among Top 10 in SA Chenin Classification

Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Collection Chenin Blanc 2015
R80pb from cellar in Franschhoek (fruit from Voor Paardeberg in Paarl). Also a silver medallist at SA Trophy Wine Show and Decanter Awards

Rijk’s Private Cellar Chenin Blanc Barrel Fermented 2013
R140pb from cellar in Tulbagh. Also a silver medallist at SA Trophy Wine Show. Among Top 20 in SA Chenin Classification

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2015
R139pb from cellar in Stellenbosch (fruit from Tygerberg district). Among Top 10 in SA Chenin Classification

The Dry Land Collection Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 (Perdeberg)
R77pb from cellar in Paarl

• All top SA Chenin reviews during the past year or two here.