DeMorgenzon, Divas Chenin Blanc 2020
‘DeMorgenzon’ or ‘The Morning Sun’, was so named as it is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof Valley to see the sun each morning – due to its aspect and altitude.
This ‘SA Chenin Classic’ is only bottled in the most outstanding of vintages. The grapes are from a prized parcel of low-yielding Chenin Blanc vines, planted in 1972. They are blessed with incredible terroir and climatic influences; planted on decomposed granite soil, at 250 to 300 metres above sea level and with a cooling influence from False Bay.
The grapes were handpicked in two separate passes, in the cool, early hours of the morning to retain acidity and freshness. The bunches were then hand sorted in the winery in order to only use the most perfect fruit. Fermentation occurred naturally in French oak. The wine was aged on lees in barrel for 11 months, with a further 6 months in concrete amphora.
The result is utterly exceptional. Aromas of lime blossom, white peach, caramel and brioche. They carry over to the palate with a searing minerality, incredible length and indulgent mouth-coating finish. A sensory explosion on the palate.
“A true statement of DeMorgenzon’s dedication to excellence”.
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The Divas Chenin Blanc is selected from a special parcel of low-yielding vines planted in 1972 on DeMorgenzon. The vines are planted in decomposed granite soils, at altitudes of 250 to 300 metres above sea level. Close proximity to False Bay ensures cooling breezes in the warm summer months. The Divas is selected from the most balanced vines of this grand old vineyard. In 2018 a massal selection of genetic material from The Divas vines was collected and sent away for multiplication. The progeny of these grand old dames will be planted in DeMorgenzon’s future plantings of Chenin Blanc, to secure a unique provenance for DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc.
On the back of a cold and wet winter, the 2020 growing season began very early, with homogenous budburst and even shoot growth. Summer was relatively mild, without the heatwaves often experienced in the Cape. The resultant crop retained high levels of natural acidity and abundant concentration of flavour. Particularly exceptional are the white wines of 2020, whilst the reds display early promise thanks to intense colour and tannin concentration.
VINIFICATION AND MATURATION
The grapes were picked in two different passes from a particular part of the old vineyard. The grapes were handpicked in the early morning hours, with bunch selection done in the vineyard, and a final selection in the winery. Fruit was cooled down and then gently pressed, whole bunch, and the juice was settled overnight without the use of settling enzymes. Fermentation occurred naturally in French oak barrels (40% new), using indigenous yeasts, with no malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel for 10,5 months, without batonnage, followed by a further ageing in concrete egg for 6 months, before being bottled without filtration.
TASTING NOTES 2020
A wine of incredible density and precision. A hint of yellow suggests sun ripened berries, with a bright green hue promising freshness. Aromas of lime blossom, white peach, caramel and brioche are followed by a poised palate with an extremely concentrated core. This is a great wine that will reward decades of cellaring. A true statement of DeMorgenzon’s dedication to excellence.
Try it with seared scallops or poached lobster and melted butter.