#344 Vine Venom SKIN Chenin Blanc NV


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The Noble Savage

Wild, wooly, skin-contact geek wines can be an absolute education. A vivid clash of unexpected aromas and textures, derived from obscure cultivars and more obscure winemaking techniques. But one would hardly label these bottlings as “fine wine”. But the Vine Venom’s supremely subtle range somehow manages to straddle the chasm between geek wine and fine wine, and this is what makes Samantha Suddons such a unicorn.
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:


Winemaker Samantha Suddons calls this “a wine for whisky lovers”. Which can be terrifying for people who hate whisky! Thankfully, this is very much a winey wine, but Sam’s whisky references are certainly not far off!
👃🏼 The vanguard carries a fascinating mix of Smoke, honey, orange peel, cinnamon, even some caramelised pear.
👄 The palate is every bit as wild, with a vivid mix of tart seville orange marmalade, sweeter peach fruit, baked pear, salted nuts, and a puff honeysuckle on the aft.


🔬 Wine of origin Swartland. All fruit is harvested from the Paardeberg ward. Grapes were fermented on their skins, using only native yeasts, and stayed in contact with the skins for 27 days, before being pressed off, and then aged in old oak barrels. The wine levels in the barrels were kept sightly lower in order to allow a hint of oxidation and flor-development.
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