Angus Paul, On A Flight Of Furious Fancies Chenin Blanc 2022
Angus Paul has a passion for South African heritage varietals, focussing on Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Cinsault, and believes in minimal intervention winemaking – a combination that clearly works well.
This Chenin Blanc is produced from a single hilltop vineyard, located in the Polkadraai Hills – a region well known for outstanding Chenin. Old vines, planted in boney granite soils, coupled with the harsh winds from the Cape South Easter, result in a racy expression of Chenin Blanc.
Grapes were whole bunch pressed and the cloudy juice was transferred to neutral oak barrels without the addition of sulphur, yeast, acid or enzymes. Fermentation took place in barrel, with about 50% going through Malolactic fermentation too.
Primary aromas of orchard blossoms, ripe green apple and pear are balanced with a creaminess from 50% malolactic fermentation. The primary fruit are underlined by the seashell and flint characteristics that the Polkadraai Hills appellation offers to Chenin Blanc.
One site: the Polkadraai Hills; one grape: Chenin blanc. This bottling currently uses one vineyard, on Karibib farm on False Bay. The boney granite soils inexplicably, but undeniably, in concert with the harsh winds of the South Easter, provide a racy expression of Chenin blanc grown in a warm climate.
We like to think of this as what ought to be as quintessentially a South African wine as can be: old vine Chenin, grown without irrigation on the coastal hillsides of Stellenbosch.
Grapes are hand picked and cooled overnight. The following morning they are put into the press and pressed as whole bunches. No sulphur, yeast, acid, enzymes or water were added.
Very cloudy juice was transferred to neutral oak barrels, with only the heaviest of solids left behind. Fermentation took place over 4 weeks, after which about half of the barrels completed malolactic fermentation. In Autumn wines were sulphured for the first time. Wines were bottled in December after having spent 11 months in barrel with no racking or fining.
This vintage is open in body and tight in texture: kelp, citrus creams and apples jump forth. The palate is equally tight, but rounder than previous vintages. The acidity is ripe and rushes across the palate with waves of white stone fruit and golden delicious apples.
Inspired by an anonymous Medieval English poem, “Tom O’Bedlam”. This can be read many ways – it is quite literally a tale of us going off in flight and producing, zealously, this wine project. Or of the historic South African wine industry as a whole, producing wine in the corner of this mysterious continent. Or more recently, of the pioneering winemakers of the last 25 years, revitalising the industry. Or, in a profound sense, this Bacchic compulsion as humans, that wherever we go, we must make wine.
T.A.: 6.3 g/L
R.S.: 1.0 g/L
Sesame crusted tuna tataki with pickled radish and avocado salad.