Living soils and a natural approach to winemaking means that each of the single-varietal wines in the Circumstance range is truly defined by the circumstances influencing the chosen varietal and vineyard blocks, including: soil, aspect, altitude and vintage. These factors combine to produce low yields, balanced grapes and wines with a true sense of place. The Chenin Blanc is from a windswept, south-facing (less sun exposure) block 200-50m above and a mere 2 miles from The Atlantic. Production is a miserly 5 tons per hectare. Waterkloof follow a traditional, minimalistic approach in their gravitational cellar which means interfering as little as possible with the winemaking process. This allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to ultimately express themselves in the wine. To achieve this goal, all grapes are whole-bunch pressed, which ensures that juice is extracted in the gentlest way. The juice is then allowed to settle for 24 hours after which it is racked from the settling tank into older 600 liter barrels. They do not inoculate the juice with commercially cultivated yeast, but allow the wild yeast prevailing in the vineyard to ferment the juice. The natural fermentation process took 7 months to complete, after which the wine was left on the gross less for a further 3 months. No battonage, no additions of acid or enzymes during the winemaking process, only a small addition of sulphur as a preservative and a light filtration prior to bottling.
The nose is clean and precise, gently honeyed with white flowers, preserved lemons and a hint of fennel. Ripe and creamy on the palate with citrus and apricot fruit and a textural minerality. Good palate weight and concentration backed by a streak of taut acidity leading to a complex, lingering finish.
A great partner with fish or try it with an oyster mushroom and rocket salad.
Decanter World Wine Awards 2023