#300 Force Celeste Chenin Blanc 2022


Wine of Origin Swartland. 100% Chenin Blanc. Fruit was harvested from a vineyard farmed by Franziska Wickens in the Siebritskloof on the Paardeberg. Vineyards were farmed organically. 70% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel; 30% was fermented on skins for 4 wks. Skin-contact ferments occurred in open-top fermenters. No sulphur added. | VA 1.0 | Alc 13% |


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The Piket-Bo-Berg plateau is just one of seven sub-zone (or wine wards, as they’re called in South Africa) which make up the rather massive Swartland (which is 120km long). This little ward sits on the northern end of the Swartland at an impressive 800m ASL, which puts it just above the Piekenierskloof (700m ASL) and just below places like Ceres Plateau and the Cederberg (both sit just over 1000 ASL). It also happens to be home to the King of South African Wine’s Lunatic Fringe; Johan “Stompie” Meyer, and his fortress of solitude; the Platteklip Vineyards.
Now while Piket-Bo-Berg is technically part of the very hot and dry Swartland, in reality it is a completely different world. To give you some context; Bo-PiketBerg is the same distance from Malmesbury (which is kinda Swartland Central) as Malmesbury is from Elgin. And Elgin is the coldest wine growing region in South Africa )if Master of Wine Richard Kershaw is correct in his assertions that it gathers more cold units per year than either Agulhas or Walker Bay).
To continue the Elgin comparison, Piket-Bo-Berg is also about 400m higher than Elgin’s vineyards (on average) and the diurnal range is…XXX. The result of all this is that Platteklip vineyards, where Johan meyer farms is planted with cultivars like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. So as mentioned before, we could –  very soon – have access to a legitimate cooler climate | Pinot Noir | that is 100% Wine of Origin Swartland. It just sounds bonkers, doesn’t it! But then, if you’ve tasted any of Johan’s Mother Rock Wines then you’ll know that “bonkers” is dead central for Johan Meyer’s comfort zone.
Today’s wine, however, is not from Piket-Bo-Berg. Rather it is from arguably the most famous of all of the Swartland’s wine wards; the Paardeberg. Now, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:


👃🏼 A piquant touch of volative acidity delivers some apple cider elements, along with fresher nectarine fruit, and floral osmanthus.
👄 The palate is really quite nicely textured, with elements of apricot, yellow apple, and even a bit of brown pear, which is then closed out by that classic chenin tail end of a touch of citrus pith.
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