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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc Private Collectiontext
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Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc Private Collection 2017

Tygerberg, Coastal Region, South AfricaI make no secret of my devotion to wines made from chenin blanc, but, and it is a big but, chenin crop levels need to be vigorously restricted before exceptional wine can result. That’s exactly what Spier has done with 21 Gables Chenin Blanc. This is oak-aged chenin made from old vines planted 15 kilometres from the coast in Stellenbosch, where cool ocean air has a significant impact on the balance between fruit and acidity, thanks to lengthier hang time. Vines root deeply in ancient shale soils in the Tygerberg hills producing grapes with tremendous concentration and expression that possess a deep golden colour and rich, nutty, buttery oak-derived aromas that combine splendidly with peach and cantaloupe. The wine spends 14 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, with the balance second fill. Spier has added complexity by using a range of casks, from 300 litres to 2,500-litre vessels and a 6-hour skin soak before fermentation. The result is a splendidly complex wine full of creamy oak, tropical fruit lushness, and flecked with salty minerals. Harmonious, mouth-filling, and vivid with succulent natural acidity, this chenin manages to be weighty but without heaviness. You’ll also note a honeyed, herbal perfume, the Cape signature of fynbos, which is a distinctly fragrant heather-like shrub only found on the southern tip of Africa. If ever there were a ‘shrimp on the braai’ wine, this is it, but a smoky pork chop or decadent triple cream cheese will do just as well. The 2016 edition of this wine won the Chenin Blanc Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, and this vintage will help you understand why. It's beginning to unfurl and will gain complexity over the next five years or so. Drink lightly chilled and splash into a decanter if you have one handy.Tasted: 20 April 2021Tasted by: Prices: BC 35.00 BCLS Producer: SpierDistributors: Whitehall Premium Wines & Spirits
Grape: Chenin BlancCSPC: 260646UPC: 819457001047