Donkiesbaai Steen Chenin Blanc 2021
Far up the west coast, north of Lambert’s Bay but south of Doringbaai, lies an open bay of white sand strewn with black mussels and kelp, with the icy waters of the Atlantic beating the shore. This is Donkiesbaai ("Donkeys Bay", in the Queen's English), where the Engelbrecht family have holidayed for four generations. This unassuming spot lends its name to this off-piste range of wines from the further-flung corners of South Africa’s winelands. The wine was made with the cuisine of the west coast in mind. Crayfish, mullet and a cold glass of wine is part of the history that is Donkiesbaai.
The vines are 38 & 20-year-old unirrigated bush vines which are planted in deep sandy soils. At an altitude of 520m above sea level, the vineyards experience a warm climate with cooling evening winds.
Our Steen is made up of three components: 75% is fermented in French oak then matured in a combination of new and seasoned 500l barrels. 25% is fermented spontaneously and matured on the lees in concrete eggs.
Grapes were harvested on six dates, with different picks providing a range of aromatic characters. Two early picks bring fresh acidity. two middle picks added a great balance and perfectly ripe tropical fruit characters. The two final picks of smaller bunches and berries added deep concentration and palate weight to the resulting wine.
Intense fruit aromas of apple and quince combine with honeysuckle and fresh pineapple on the nose. Medium-bodied, with well integrated acidity that lifts rich flavours of lemon meringue, preserved peaches, papaya, and honeycomb. A creamy mid-palate with a coating mouthfeel, and a long fruity finish.