nv Silwervis, Chenin Blanc “Smiley V2” Western Cape, South Africa.
Paardeberg mountain fruit forms the soul of Ryan Mostert’s, Silwervis winemaker, natural old vine non-vintage Chenin V2 Smiley, coming off 46 year old vines set on granite, with wines for this version were selected from four different vintages spanning 2013-2016. The wine is matured in a combination of seasoned oak, stainless steel and glass demijohn (like Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon Reserve Le Cigare Blanc) with some of the lots being crafted similarly to what is found in the Jura (France) and the Sherry region of Jerez, Spain with some living under the flor! This wild Chenin, lightly clouded golden in color, is absolutely unique, without any additions of any kind, this really is a quirky white that shows purposely oxidative and maderized elements to go along with the your fresher components that kind of drives the palate crazy! It starts with a hint of leather, peach and stony elements with a touch of exotic Marsala before getting taught and vigorous on the palate with grilled citrus, quince, pear and white fig as well as light almond and wet rock. Light/medium in bodied with some dried fruit notes, this white is a great tapas wine with it’s subtle fino sherry and rainwater madeira meets Saumur character and I can imagine it with grilled sardines, salty small plates and especially sheep cheeses. This is cool earthy stuff that gains with air and food, it takes you on a walk of the wild side, and I can’t wait to try more of Ryan’s wines, drink this now.
($20 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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