Stellenbosch, South Africa; 14.5% ABV
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 4 May
I don’t drink a lot of Chenin Blanc, but this has to be the weirdest one I’ve ever tasted, and one of the stranger white wines I can recall. The nose is ripe-fruity, musty / musky, and slightly sulfurous. The palate tastes of over-ripe, if not slightly spoiled, tropical fruit: golden kiwi, star fruit (Carambola), maybe pineapple. It’s not altogether terrible, but I really can’t recommend this for the price.
The next day, the rest of the bottle was a little better. The weird musty / maybe sulfury, not-quite-jackfruit flavor was still there, but overall the wine seemed a little more fresh and it had developed clearer lemony acid. Still, it is far from the perfumed white flowers, white pear, and yellow apple that I expect from my limited experience with Chenin Blanc. Hmmm… apparently, these tropical fruit flavors are more typical of South African Chenin Blancs, but I would still guess this is not the best example. It’s not godawful, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.