Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: **** $$$ Winery of Good Hope Radford Dale Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2009

By way of background, opening thoughts: Chenin blanc is a solid, staple white wine from South Africa.  Today we will sample one from the well-known and well-regarded Stellenbosch region, courtesy of importer Barclay's Wine , which provided the review sample.

Original tasting and review : This is Winery of Good Hope Radford Dale Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2009, finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Clear with hints of yellow and olive.

On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows generous and steely fruit, piercing your nostrils with its stainless steel sharpness.  From the aroma, seems like this will be intense and bracing.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact fresh, layered and inviting - much less biting than may have been suggested by the aromas.  It has a solid bearing, clean citrus tones, and a definite mineral backbone.  The finish fades gently and easily on the lower palate, even at it beams a shot of pleasant sweet acid northward into your cheeks.  That upward shot sits for nearly a full minute before dissipating.  Nicely faceted.  Delivers far more intensity and layering than its relatively modest 13.5% alcohol level might suggest.

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a particularly impressive version of the oft-maligned chenin blanc varietal. 

Following long decant, over 12 hours kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Very consistent aromas.  The palate has held together very well also, delivering perhaps a little less glisten on the finish.  

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