Anthonij Rupert Winery of Good Hope Chenin Blanc is an elegant, dry white from old vineyards in coastal South Africa. Pair with rich fish or seafood.
If you love dry, crisp and elegant white wine, this is for you. Two things matter most: it’s made from Chenin Blanc, one of the most noble of of white grapes, and the vines that give this wine such bombshell fruit and precision are half a century old. Chenin is South Africa’s most planted grape, and these old vineyards are 260 kilometers north of Cape Town, on the wind-swept Atlantic coast. The two names on the label ‘Van Lill and Visser’ are the farmers who have tended these unirrigated, gnarled vines for decades. Honey, quince and vanilla flavours distinguish the bone-dry palate, complemented by a herbal lift of fynbos and the scrubby, scented chapparal that grows just like black sagebrush in the Okanagan. Seven months’ of ageing in large French oak casks adds a warm embrace of smoke and subtle toast, but it’s perfectly balanced with ripe fruit and truly eye-popping acidity. This middle-weight beauty has the heft and tart citrus to slice through fatty fish like salmon or tuna, and the breadth for fried chicken or calamari. Lip-smacking and fresh for drinking now, or let more lime curd and toast develop over the next few years.