2012 Simonsig Family Vineyards Chenin Blanc Avec Chêne Stellenbosch

Age has treated this wine well

2012 Simonsig Family Vineyards Chenin Blanc Avec Chêne Stellenbosch

The Chenin was grown in the estate’s oldest plantings, dating to 1986. It was barrel-fermented in 400-liter French oak (hence avec chêne) then aged with bâttonage for 11 months also in French oak, a small portion new.

It is a gleaming yellow color with a flinty aroma of wet rocks. The body is likewise minerally but with an ample coating mouthfeel, owing in part to moderately high alcohol and four grams of residual sugar. The acidity is moderate, but the wine has a gingered spiciness, like spiced pears and white stone fruits splashed with lemon honey. Stone and nut anchor the finish.

The few years of extra bottle age has endowed this wine with seriousness and heft; a lesson for us all.

Pair it with medium aged cheeses, especially made from cow’s milk. Terrific with spiced (but not too piquant) tagines, pilafs (add nuts and dried apricots), curries, felafel. Also good with roasted poultry and New England harvest staples.

13.9% abv | $35 (sample) Imported by Quintessential

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