I went looking for a fall white several weeks ago. I was done with the racy whites and pretty pinks of summer. I wanted a wine with more substance. I came upon a large floor display for this wine and since the price was right – $8.99 – and the varietal also – Chenin Blanc – I thought I’d give it a try. Chenin Blanc, a varietal most often associated with the Loire Valley in France, has found another home in which to flourish in South Africa. The winery, Steenberg, one of the oldest in South Africa, is also a player in the wine tourism sector. It’s worth a visit to the website to see dramatic photos of the modern winery and posh accomodations. The wine didn’t disappoint. When I nosed the wine – a wine tasting term I don’t use often since it reminds me of dogs meeting – the word “pome” came to mind, that family of fleshy fruits which includes apples, pears and quince. My reaction was how appropriate to the fall season. In the nose – sweet herbs such as woodruff, chamomille; Golden Delicious apples, Taylor Gold pears with their scent of honey and Pineapple quince. On the palate – full, ripe fruit giving way to strong acidity. The mouthfeel is rich, weighty. The wine finishes juicy with the lingering ripeness of the pomes and the wonderful acidity. A touch of bitterness only adds to the interest. I’ve been back to purchase the wine several times which- the floor display now gone – has been relegated to the “$8.99 and Under” bin. Hopefully, there will be enough to last through Thanksgiving since this would make a fine accompaniment to that meal.
Whole Foods River St. Cambridge MA