2019 A. A. Badenhorst Family Wines “Secateurs” Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa.
The crisply dry and zesty pure Secateurs Chenin is a superb value from Badenhorst with fresh citrus blossoms, peachy fruit and subtle earthy notes makes for a easy to love white from South Africa’s Swartland region that is fun sipper and or a solid choice with Fall cuisine choices. The Chenin grapes, for this wine, mostly come from Badenhorst’s Kalmoesfontein estate, which is on the northern side of the Paardeberg Mountain. The grapes are hand picked with great care and chilled overnight in a cold room. The following day they are whole bunch pressed to a settling tank, with some of the juice, close to 25%, is also fermented in older casks and big foudres which gives a depth of complexity to this Chenin or Steen as they call the grape locally, with the rest seeing time on its lees in a combination or concrete tanks and old casks, to give an extra degree of texture and roundness. This lightly golden Chenin adds layers of lemon, melon, light clove spice and un-sweetened orange honey and a hint of creamy waxiness, this vintage is a bit lighter and more vibrant in style than some years. This edition of Secateurs retains good vibrant acidity and has a fine stony note as well as a saline element that is mouthwatering, it is wine that is best enjoyed young and vividly expressive.
Adi Badenhorst is one South Africa’s leading winemakers, he is member of the Cape Winemakers Guild and a founding member of the Swartland Revolution, focused on regional terroir and natural expressions, as his importer Broadbent Selections adds, an ever evolving vigneron producing a wide range wines, including his signature bottlings and the bargain Secateurs line up. AA Badenhorst was originally founded In 2008, when cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst purchased their Kalmoesfontein farm in the Paardeberg area in Swartland. Together, as they explain, they restored a cellar that had been neglected since the 1930′s, but where they now make natural wines in the traditional manner. The vineyards on Kalmoesfontein farm are made up of very old bush-vines planted with Chenin Blanc (average 40 years old), Cinsault (average 45 years), and Grenache (average 58 years) and these organic vines are non-irrigated and farmed mainly biologically as much as possible. The 2019 Secateurs Chenin Blanc is pretty much a hundred percent Chenin, but can have some small amounts of Palomono and maybe a touch of another un-named varietal, which also adds a uniqueness to this wine, which is delicious on its own or with soft cheeses and or sea food dishes. In recent years I have really been impressed with Adi Badenhorst’s top end single varietal wines, like his Old Vine Cinsault and Tinta Barocca, which are serious wines well worth searching out.
($16 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive