13/02/2011 – Bellingham, Bernard Series Chenin Blanc 2009

Bellingham, Bernard Series Chenin Blanc 2009, South Africa
There’s lots of old-vine Chenin Blanc around in the Cape’s vineyards, thanks to its history of making cheap quaffing wines and being distilled for Brandy. Here, Bellingham’s 40-year-old bush vines from an unirrigated farm give fabulous, effortless concentration. It has lots of ripe, gently honeyed intensity with hints of smokiness, hints of vanilla, and a very creamy, oatmeally luxury (partly thanks to some oak ageing). But there is masses of apple ripe pear fruit too, and onto the palate a glorious freshness and vitality with a great blast of citrus, and a long, long finish with a swirling, mineral smokiness amongst the sweet fruit and orangy tang of the acidity. Really terrific, complex stuff. 10.99 in Majestic, but 8.79 until May 2011.