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It is very hard for chenin blanc to escape its slightly sickly, baby spew and burned butter aroma profile, and sometimes flavours. Then again, you expect it, so you kind of work with it, and in great examples, where that vibe is kept to a minimum, magic happens. Can be one of the world’s best grapes at its zenith. Anyway, Brad Hickey has had a crack at it here, applied a couple of days of skin contact, fermented it wild in barrel, let it hang for nine months, then bottled it with a little sulphur.
Whiffs of ripe, verge of putrefaction, sweet exotic fruits. Walking through a jungle with tropical fruits hanging around. Smells aren’t off-putting, just assertive. Dried apples after the wine opens some. It’s really squeaky in texture, jostles around with crisp acidity, appley tang, a touch of sour balsamic lift. It’s refreshing, it’s wild, it’s curious. It’s fun, but it will be challenging for some, but that’s ok. MIKE BENNIE, www.winefront.com.au
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