Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc Steen op Hout 2011, Stellenbosch

Today it is time for Steen! Steen, besides Pinotage, might be the top-dog grape varietal of South Africa. In case you guys don't know. In other places on our lovely planet this varietal globetrotter is called Chenin Blanc. In fact South Africa is the largest grower (approx. 19000 hectares) of this very varietal. I've chosen today's wine because it is highly proliferated, reasonable and made by a quite renowned wine producer. The Chenin Blanc Steen op Hout 2011 from Stellenbosch (and some Swartland material) viticulture area is the entry level wine of Mulderbosch Vineyards which is definitely more famous for its Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. Since the dawn of the cooperation between Larry Jacobs, a career changer from physicians to wine, and the  winemaker Mike Dobrovic, Mulderbosch started to gain quite some reputation for their crisp and reliable white wines. As I've mentioned earlier, their Chenin Blanc is their bread and butter wine. Ment to be uncomplicated, fresh, crisp, pleasing, stimulating (for more) and probably just ... joy providing. A classic summer wine after all! Let's check out how I got along with it …

Super bright and slightly colourless hue with a few carbon acid leftovers. Nothing special and nothing surprising. The nose showed convincing fragrances of mostly juvenile red'ish apples including their stems, lime zest (slightly candied), unclear tropical fruit components, a few semi tart almonds, mild grass and some traces of dilluted reserved petrol. Clearly - Chenin Blanc! And even more clearly not a perfumed poser or show-off new world style Chenin Blanc. The taste showed nearly congruent characteristics. Besides its apples, its lime zest and the grassy-almodish petrol flavours I was under the impression to taste quite a lot of very ripe or even overripe gooseberries tart and guava. The substantial fruitful character of this Chenin Blanc seemed expressiv and well balanced. To the finish ... maybe there were a bit too many sweet'ish traces on my palate. The underlying mineral characteristics weren't that obvious or elaborate or maybe even present. This time it wasn't a problem for me at all because this wine was supposed be, and indeed was, a clean, easy and crisp summer-joy-whatever-and so on-party-wine without being over-challenging (nor silly simple). Anyway, nice and very convincing so la-la *** summer stuff with "classical" characteristics (even some aged ones), plenty of freshness, good quaffability and a decent amount of exuberance potential.

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