Saturday, July 11, 2009

***+ $ Man Vintners Chenin Blanc (Steen), 2008, Coastal Region, South Africa - Review and Rating

Review: The Man Vintners Chenin Blanc (Steen), 2008, hails from the Coastal Region of South Africa. It displays a bold alcohol level of 13.5%. It is part of the Man Vintners value line of South African wines, which have fared as excellent values elsewhere in Spirit of Wine.

The chenin blanc shows as nearly transparent in the glass, with a light yellow overall cast. The Man Chenin Blanc is served chilled, as per the label recommendation. Nonetheless, the aromas are bold and full, bringing sweet steely grasses, and elements of honeydew melon.

On sipping, it is your mid-palate that is treated to the first fruits of the experience - a smooth, rich, slightly butterscotchy flow reaches across your tongue and to the back of your mouth. It is clean and lightly honeyed, almost an element of honeycomb (dusty perhaps?). Served cool, no acids prick your cheeks, but they are hinted at by a high note on the finish, which is long, cool, clean and slightly tropical. Lacks intensity or layers, but is nicely balanced and composed. Three stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its accessibility and pleasantness.

Awesome bargain at the price.

Interesting fact: as the wine warmed a bit towards room temperatures, aromas intensified and a slightly more acidic backbone came through. I'd recommend serving just lightly chilled.

Wine Spectator awarded 87 points, writing, "Fresh, with lively honeysuckle, heather, blanched almond and mineral notes followed by a refreshing finish. Drink now. 20,000 cases made."

Find Man Chenin Blanc at WineZap.

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