Babylonstoren 2021 South Africa Chenin Blanc ($14.99)
Sustainably grown in South Africa’s Paarl region on the Western Cape, Babylonstoren Chenin Blanc is a delicious wine that supports South Africa’s tradition as an excellent terroir for Chenin Blanc. It’s a clear greenish-brass color in the glass, and presents appealing fresh fruit scents of stone fruit and pineapple, with lemony citrus joining those characteristics on the palate. Tart, bracing acidity cloaks just a hint of sweetness, and intriguing stony minerality joins in with lemon and lime in a very long finish. Excellent wine, 13.5% alcohol. U.S. importer: Tamarca Imports LLC, Snellville, Ga. (April 2, 2022)
FOOD MATCH: Chenin Blanc is a versatile food companion. The winery recommends a rather specific list of pairings: seafood dishes, roast chicken with thyme, summer salads, seasonal quiches and gravlax. Wine-Searcher suggests pairing it with Cheddar or Gruyère. We enjoyed it with bucatini and a spring pesto of asparagus and cilantro.
WHEN TO DRINK: The winery calls for drinking preferably within one year of production, which limits us to this year. Honestly, considering its richness and balance and knowing Chenin Blanc’s surprising ageworthiness for a white, I’d feel comfortable holding it for several years more.
Wine-Searcher.com calculates $17 U.S. retail for all vintages, $16 for the 2021. I got it for $15 and was delighted, but I’d be willing to go up to the upper teens for this quality.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Babylonstoren South Africa Chenin Blanc on Wine-Searcher.com.
Follow this Wine-Searcher link to read more about Simonssberg-Paarl and follow links to vendors for many wines from the region, including a number from Babylonstoren’s portfolio.
This Wine-Searcher page gives an overview of South Africa in general and links to a selection of the country’s characteristic wines.
Learn more about Chenin Blanc and find many good examples of the variety at this Wine-Searcher link.