#310 Wightman and Sons Clairette Blanche 2022
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The Wightmans are certainly not the oldest members of the Swartland Independent Producers Association, but they certainly are as committed to challenging the status quo as any of the older battle-hardened revolutionaries. While they only arrived on the scene in the last couple of decades, their farm of Morelig in the Paardeberg Ward has been the birthplace of some spectacularly genre-challenging bottlings that continue to shift mindsets and beg questions over what should and shouldn’t constitute the beverage we call wine.
While some of their red wines can be divisive (the False Widow Pinotage and their “Different Box of Frogs” Carignan are two wine that immediately jump to mind) the white wines in their range (a naturally-styled Swartland Chenin Blanc, a chenin-led Swartland white, called the A&B blend, and finally their signature Clairette Blanche) are all wines that I would consider essential reading for those who may be too young to remember just how wild things were in the Swartland, a decade or two back.
Now if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won’t be able to sip along as we discuss this Clairette Blanche. But I do hope that you hunt this wine down in your own time. Until then, I have left my tasting notes and some technical specs to try and share some of what we’re experiencing in the drinking of this wine.
👃🏼 The aromas is supremely giving, with a delightfully edgy hint of pear cider, and some smoky phenols drift alongside bruised yellow apples, and boatloads of jasmine and frangipani blossom.
And I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, because it is exactly this floral quality that has made Clairette as famous as it is in other parts of the world.
👄 As expected, the palate shows mild acidity, but also an impressively waxy and layered mouthfeel, with the texture of yellow pear skin, and more notes of bruised apple, sunshine nectarine, and salted almonds. That waxy mouthfeel persists into a generous finish, where a puff of white flowers re-emerges.
Wine of Origin Swartland (Paardeberg Ward). The grapes are macerated on skins for five days prior to fermentation, and the final wine undergoes only the coarsest of filtering. Alc 13.0%
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