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Affordable White Wines From South Africa


We continue Furlough Friday’s theme of affordable wines by trying these four South African white wines.  I have written about the 2011 Badenhorst, Secateurs, Chenin Blanc before which has now become part of the rotation of white wines which we drink at the house.  For $13 I think it a strong buy and felt it would act as a good reference point for the other wines.  The 2011 Ken Forrester, Old Vine, Reserve proved tasty as well.  It too is a richer style highlighting its barrel fermentation well, along with minerals and juicy acidity.  The 2012 Beaumont was vibrant with acidity driven, lemon flavors; the acidity is to be commended but the flavors were not that deep.  It struck me as a wine to drink now.  Lastly the 2012 De Morgenzon, Chardonnay provides, bright and tart fruit in an uncomplicated manner.  If you want bright, acidity driven flavors I would get the 2012 Beaumont instead.  Otherwise I would certainly  try the Badenhorst or Ken Forrester.  Three pretty good choices for $13 per bottle!  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Ken Forrester, Chenin Blanc, Old Vine, Reserve, Stellenbosch – $13
Imported by Cape Classics.  This wine is 100% Chenin Blanc which was fermented with indigenous yeasts, half in stainless steel tanks and half in 20% new French oak.  It was aged 10 months on the lees.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light yellow straw.  The nose was a light, yeasty white fruit and stones.  In the mouth there was stoney, ripe white fruit then a tang on the back sides of the tongue.  A little spice came out, some toast, and a little juicy acidity.  The aftertaste brought some sweet fruit (in a ripe sense).  *** Now-2015.

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2012 Beaumont, Chenin Blanc, Walker Bay – $13
Imported by Wine@34south.  This wine is 100% Chenin Blanc sourced from Bot River vineyards 8-37 years of age.  This was aged for six months in tank on the lees.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The color was a very light straw.  The light nose was of brighter fruit, almost pebbly with white lemon aromas.  In the mouth there was a touch of weight to the lemon flavors.  It was vibrant and acidity driven followed by a touch of spices and tannins in the pebbly finish.  Good length.  A white nut, maybe almonds, was left in the mouth.  ** Now.

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2011 Badenhorst Family Wines, Secateurs, Chenin Blanc, Swartland – $13
Imported by Broadbent Selections.  This wine is 100% Chenin Blanc sourced from old vines, a good deal of which are 50 years old.  The fruit is harvested over 12 days which is added daily to the already fermenting fruit in concrete tank and older French oak casks.  It is then aged for seven months on the gross lees.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a light straw yellow.  The yeasty fruit is of yellow and white, with a touch of white nuts.  There is a vibrant start, depth, and a good mouthfeel which coats the mouth.  *** Now-2015.

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2012 De Morgenz0n, DMZ, Chardonnay, Western Cape – $15
Imported by Cape Classics.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay which was aged on the lees in stainless steel and French oak barrels of which a small portion underwent malolactic fermentation.  After blending it was aged a further three months.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a very light straw.  On the nose there was very light, pebbly white fruit.  In the mouth there was a bright and tart entry of flavors to this light to medium bodied wine.  The fruit became tart on the back of the tongue followed by white nuts.  Good acidity and finish.  Not the most complex.  ** Now-2014.

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