Opstal, Carl Everson Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 750ml 2017South Africa, Slanghoek
A string of Platter’s 5-star accolades proves that Attie Louw of Opstal knows a thing or two about producing top-end Chenin Blanc. Opstal is best known for the Carl Everson Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc; their much-awarded expression of a 36-year-old single vineyard in the Slanghoek Valley. The latest 2017 release is a touch tighter and more restrained than previous vintages, however, it still has the trademark fruit weight and depth. Once again, as one of the finest wines from the Breedekloof Valley, it is an absolute steal.
'Located on the cooler Slanghoek side of the Breedekloof region, this spontaneously fermented Chenin Blanc comes from a 1982 block. Rich, yet well balanced with the subtle oak usage that’s typical of the Opstal style. 2019-25.' – Tim Atkin SA Report 2018, 94/100
'The beauty of this wine is even though it stays the same each year (as it’s harvested from the same Single Vineyard classified block on the farm), each year is different. The 2017 vintage shows some restraint at first, even a bit shy, but then opens up to show quince and pineapple notes with a freshness and finesse ever present on the palate as yellow peach flavours run through your mouth. The distinctive depth and complexity of fruit we’ve learned to appreciate and love of the Carl Everson Chenin, is on show again with the 2017. These precious 35 year old vines, old French barrels, spontaneous fermentation and minimalistic cellar intervention in the end proclaim our Slanghoek terroir through this wine.' – Attie Louw
As were the case in 2016, the 2017 ripening and harvest season was a very dry and healthy one which actually proved a challenge for spontaneous fermented wines. The yeast populations in the vineyard were smaller and available nutrients (food for yeast cells) also less. As a result of this patience was key as alcoholic fermentation only finished after 4 months in the barrel where after the wine spent a further 6 months in those old French barrels (400 & 500L), before bottling in January 2018.
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator