We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Chenin Blanc

Winner Details

New World: Chenin Blanc


2015: Gold 2 Silver 4 Bronze 5 Commended 3
2014: Gold 2 Silver 2 Bronze 3 Commended 5


This is a category in the rudest of health. From cheap to expensive, oaked to unoaked and dry to off-dry, it delivered high-quality wines at good prices. Yes, the wines might take a bit of pushing (either through recommendation or by the glass) but the overall standard here was truly impressive.

Down the years we’ve had the odd interloper in the medal table from California or New Zealand, but increasingly this is all about South Africa, which seems to have created a definitive style all of its own, much like the Kiwis did with Sauvignon Blanc.

Best of all was the pricing. Last year, our tasters found no Gold-Listed wines under £10. This year, there were plenty, throughout the medals. Well worth exploring.


From The Tasting Teams


‘Unfortunately Chenin Blanc is not a go-to variety in the on-trade. But I am sure you could convince many Chardonnay fans to have a glass of these. Overall quality here was very good.’ Sandro Lyhs, Oxo Tower Bar

‘There were some really good examples of Chenin here, particularly at the less expensive price-points. The entry-level wines showed varietal typicity, lovely and fresh. I’ve used them a lot to go with Thai food and they’re incredibly successful.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The lighter, entry-level styles can be good summertime wines, providing cheap and uncomplicated drinking for people getting tired of Sauvignon Blanc. But the best of these wines were the more complex, richer wines higher up the scale, which offer complexity and interesting food matching possibilities.’ Sara Bachiorri, Chez Bruce

Award winners

Found 14 wines

New World: Chenin Blanc

Kanu, KCB, Chenin Blanc 2013, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Gold medal winner

A rich, sumptuous off-dry Chenin Blanc, Athila Roos of The Arts Club summarised its appeal, saying: 'A wine of tasty and delicious extremes.' Team leader Natasha Hughes MW described it as ‘poised’, while Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place found plenty going on too: ‘Honeyed nose, full and round, apricot, ripe peach, white and yellow flowers, yellow melon, with intense minerality and a long finish.’

£9.39 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Kleine Zalze, Vineyard Selection, Chenin Blanc 2014, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Gold medal winner

Wonderful to see Chenin Blanc specialist Kleine Zalze ascend the Gold podium once more, and to pick up the Scallops Food Match Trophy too. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW enjoyed this wine's ‘lovely apple notes, with a slightly creamy mid-palate'. 'A richer, riper and more complex style with honey and wax on the nose,' said fellow team leader, Martin Lam, while Chez Bruce's Sara Bachiorri found 'mineral notes on the nose, with ripe quince and peach on the palate'.

£7.09 Hatch Mansfield

Stellenrust, 48, Barrel Fermented, Chenin Blanc 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Honeyed and intense, with ripe exotic fruit, from mango to melon. Clean and full-flavoured, big and bold,’ commented Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant. ‘Complex, creamy, really nicely balanced and seamless,’ agreed team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£12.76 Bibendum

Ken Forrester, The FMC, Chenin Blanc 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants enjoyed the ‘rich, mandarin fruit, great length, cleansing acidity and integrated oak’ of this off-dry Chenin, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW highlighted its ‘creamy mid-palate and delicate oak' and The Arts Club's Athila Roos noted the 'honeyed, spicy, citrus and sea salt-laden palate'.

£17.21 Enotria&Coe

Annex Kloof, Xenna, Chenin Blanc 2014, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Apricot, peach and nectarine along with some honeysuckle notes. Fresh acidity – a solid wine for the price,’ commented Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place, with Chez Bruce's Sara Bachiorri adding: 'Mineral nose with apple and quince notes, this has apples and quince on the palate with good fruit concentration.'

£5.77 Castelnau Wine Agencies

Jordan, Barrel Fermented, Chenin Blanc 2013, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants found ‘fresh and cleansing acidity with bruised apple notes’, adding: ‘Complex, with acidity softening on the finish.’ ‘Lovely complexity on the mid-palate,’ agreed team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£7.80 H2Vin

Stellenbosch Vineyards, Stormy Cape, Chenin Blanc 2014, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘With lovely freshness, this is vibrant and clean, with zippy acidity,’ commented team leader Annette Scarfe MW, adding: ‘Well made and balanced.’ ‘Slight spritz initially, fresh and bright with some notes of bruised apple,’ said William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£6.06 Enotria&Coe

Boutinot, The Tea Leaf, Chenin Blanc 2013, Piekernierskloof, Olifants River, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Soft, rich, silky and aromatic,’ said Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar. ‘Apple fruit with a slightly yeasty character, fresh balanced acidity and a waxy mouthfeel,’ added William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£8.75 Boutinot

Ken Forrester, Old Vine Reserve, Chenin Blanc 2014, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place noted: 'Fresh nectarine and white florals, with honeysuckle characters on a fresh, long palate with good balance and acidity.'

£8.76 Enotria&Coe

KWV, The Mentors, Chenin Blanc 2013, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘An oaky toast, with ripe apple, chamomile and honeysuckle fruit characters,’ said team leader Natasha Hughes MW, adding: ‘Crisp acidity and nicely balanced despite a trace of heat on the finish, which is long.’

£11.66 Bottle Green

Kleine Zalze, Cellar Selection, Bush Vines, Chenin Blanc 2014, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘With good fruit, this is a little aromatic with nicely balanced acid and peach and apple fruit favours,’ said Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar. ‘Lovely and fresh, with a bright nose of green apple,’ agreed William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£5.41 Hatch Mansfield

Esk Valley, Chenin Blanc 2013, Hawkes Bay , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Distell, Nederburg, Heritage Heroes, The Anchorman 2012, Western Cape , South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.99 Matthew Clark

Brown Brothers, Explorer, Chenin Blanc 2014, Victoria , Australia

Commended medal winner

£5.66 Bibendum

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.