A panel of esteemed German wine writers recently arranged a tasting of South African Chenin blanc within a line-up of Loire Chenin.
Tasting Loire Valley Chenin blanc against South African Chenin was, according to judges Eckhard Supp and Mario Scheuermann, not only difficult but also fascinating, with wines of an extremely high quality level as can easily be ascertained looking at the scores.
For the judges it became very clear: Chenin blanc is one of the most versatile and best grape varieties of the world. And it is an exciting fact that South African wines at this stage did better than the respectable wines of the Loire! It was mentioned that Chenin blanc has a brilliant track record in the Cape wine region and several Cape Chenins are among the world’s best white wines. Unfortunately, this has not been picked up by all the opinion leaders and the general public. The other panel members were Toni Viehhauser and Ralf Bochinski.
De Trafford and Reyneke were both rated highly by three of the panel members, Fort Simon and Kleine Zalze by two of them. Several South African wines achieved high scores in the overall rating, with De Trafford, Reyneke, Ken Forrester and Simonsig in the first four places. The panel felt the South African wines showed exceptionally well.