JUST THE FACTS
Price: R49.50 (as of Jan 2017)
Winery: Kleine Zalze
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Wine Region: Stellenbosch
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: Low
Occasion: Mid-week soother
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If you read nothing else
Woolworths wine guy Allan Mullins has an almost Max Martin-esque ability to produce smash hits out of very little. While this might not go triple platinum, at less than R50.00, it’s worth a few weeks of heavy rotation.
TN: Vanguard aromas carry peach, pear, marzipan & honeysuckle blossom.
Mouthfeel is creamy, with pleasant apricot acidity, cool honey sweetness, and tart grapefruit zest on the finish.
Fruit fades a fast and the caboose is a touch rough, but the low barrier to entry outweighs the slightly iffy finish. Have another.
Aykayay, also known as A.K.A
While Chenin Blanc may seem like a humble down to earth kinda grape, he has managed to maintain more alter egos than Sean “P. Puff Diddy Daddy” Coombs and the now deceased used-to-be symbolic artist formerly know as Prince put together.
Part of the reason that Chenin has collected so many names is that it may have come from the Loire Valley initially, but got its big break on foreign shores, where it had to change its vibe to appeal to foreign audiences.
He was probably more prodigiously marketed in South Africa as Steen or Stein, but then switched back to “Chenin Blanc” for his international tours.
Here are just a few of his other titles:
Capbreton blanc (France) Confort
Gros Pinot Blanc de la Loire
Pineau de la Loire
A Monkey’s Uncle
Slut Bun Wallah
Okay. I lied. That was more than a few.
The Adventures of Welgemoed & his Saron Gas
If you’re still reading, I thought I end with a real-life showbiz parallel.
American fans of the hard rock band Seether (and its frontman Shaun Morgan) may be interested to know that they were once called Saron Gas, hailed from South Africa, and were fronted not my “Shaun Morgan”, but rather by “Shaun Welgoemoed” (in case you were wondering, one is required to hock a massive logey just to pronounce that correctly).
“Saron Gas” was deemed a little risky, given its historic connotations and lessons learned from bands like “Anthrax”. And “Welgoemoed”…well the reasons behind the change would appear to be fairly obvious.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.