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  • Writer's pictureErica Taylor

Kaapzicht 1947 Chenin 2020 Vintage Release

15 June 2021 | What a day! Kaapzicht 1947 Chenin 2020 release.

I've said it before, and I'll repeat it... the 1947 Chenin from Kaapzicht is one of my favorite Chenins up there with Bosberaad from Paulus Wine Co. and the Optenhorst from Bosman.

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting Kaapzicht for the first time and tasting through the 2015-2020 vintages surrounded by some incredible people in the wine industry.

It was clear from the start that 2020 was a definite stand-out around the table. For me, the wine kept evolving every time I went back. I was getting more lime than lemon from the first sniff, but as it opened, the lime turned to lemon zest and hints of pineapple, which continued into an aroma of cantaloupe and melon. It has a long round finish and continues to maintain itself in my top three. Lucky for all of us, production was doubled in 2020, so 1800 bottles were produced.

The 1947 block at Kaapzicht is the second oldest registered Chenin block in South Africa. In 2018, Kaapzicht officially joined the Old Vine Project. It was mesmerizing to listen to Rosa Kruger speak on the importance of these old vines, how they impact the wine, and what they have been through. These old vines are primarily planted in high densities and farmed on dry land. They are sturdy and drought resistant. These old vines can keep the acidity and the pH in a wine where people try to produce hybrids to re-create what these old vines have done in nature.

I think the perfect descriptor of the day came from Madeleine Stenwreth MW; she described the wines as all having a "floral elegance..." and I couldn't agree more!

About the 2020:

In 1947 a vineyard was planted. A Vineyard that has seen a man start a family business and today is the great grandfather of the winemaker that nurtured this wine to its real potential...

The 1947 Chenin is made from the second oldest registered Chenin Blanc vineyard in South Africa. From these 73-year-old vines, the aromatics are super complex and spicy with lovely nuances of wet straw, dusty white citrus, honeyed yellow peaches, fynbos, and sweet pineapple confit.

Winemaking is minimalistic

No yeast, no enzymes, no Sulphur, nothing except the best quality Chenin blanc grapes. Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed, settled overnight, natural fermentation in 500L French oak barrels

Total Acidity: 5.9 g/L

Alcohol: 13.27

pH: 3.41

Residual Sugar: 5.4 g/L

About the farm:

Unirrigated vineyards

Grown on old weathered granite soils on the north-western slopes of the Bottelary Hills (warm direct sunlight), 30 km from the Atlantic Ocean (cool sea breezes), and have a perfect combination of everything needed to create full-bodied, fruity wines.

On 190 ha (162 ha under vineyards) they grow 70 % red cultivars, (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage, Cinsaut, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Pinot Noir) and 30 % white cultivars (mainly Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, some Muscat d'Alexandrie and even less Chardonnay). Due to the lack of rain in the past 4 years, we harvested an average of 5 tons per hectare across all varietals.

All of their wines (except the Port Wine) are certified estate wines, so they have to be made from grapes grown on their own property and vinified inside their wine cellar, which guarantees consistency of quality. At this time they only bottle about 30% of our total production (~ 30000 cases x 9 li), their wines are mostly being exported into 25 countries around the world, but also sold within South Africa.

For more information visit Kaapzicht.

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