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(2024) Jolandie Fouché makes this wine from old Bush vines in Swartland, fermented with wild yeast and aged in French oak. Almost buttercup yellow, there's a buttery richness and  nutrients, the fruit fat and lemony, the wild yeast giving just a touch of sauvage quality, a hint of flinty minerals too. The palate has great sweetness and ripeness, citrus and nutty apple, the acidity really very good, slicing through the succulence of the mid-palate, a little creamy oak adding another layer into a long finish.
(2023) Though home is undoubtedly still Stellenbosch, Ken now has a few wine emanating from Swartland. Aged in all old barrels after spontaneous ferment, this is deep, apricot, creamy and waxy, honeyed stuff. Beautiful, unctuous with lemon jelly fruitiness and a long, shimmering finish.
(2022) Jolandie Fouché Chenin Blanc comes from very old bush vines planted on granite and iron-rich soils, and is in a broadly natural style; fermented with ambient yeasts and matured in neutral 300-litre casks. Pale straw-green in colour, aromatics have a subtle dough edge to ripe and juicy apple with a firm, preserved lemon character too. In the mouth there's nothing difficult, as sweet and ripe fruit floods the mid-palate, but there is such a lovely, stony firmness and grapefruity tension running into a long, shimmering finish.
(2020) What a beautiful wine, from 50-year-old unirrigated vines in Swartland, fermented in barrle with wild yeasts, and only 3,400 bottles produced. There's a definite whiff of gunsmoke and flint, then a lemon peel and apple brightness of fruit, but quite complex and very appealing. In the mouth that thrust and vigour of the citrus punches through, with excellent concentration and a bit of leesy richness of texture, a hint of creaminess, the finish long and tapering to a fine point. A lovely Chenin by any account.
(2019) Mostly Chenin Blanc, with Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Viognier and a touch of Sémillon, made in Foudre. Delightful smokiness and tobacco spice, the ripeness and freshness of the fruit, big sour lemon palate, lots of bright and salty orange acidity, long, spicy and powerful finish.
(2019) From Swartland fruit, the funkiest, toasty nose, a touch of marmalade in this old Chenin, just a beautiful fruit sweetness and precision on the palate, but flooded with flavour but that precision of salts and minerals and the wild ferment touch of funkiness and tobacco. Again, no retail availabilty at time of reveiw.
(2019) Chenin blanc (58%), Viognier (14%), Clairette blanche (13%), Sémillon(7%), Roussanne (5%) and Marsanne (3%). Close to a natural wine, though using a bit of sulphur, this saw spontaneous fermentation and ageing in neutral 300-litre barrels, with some skin contact. There’s a real curry-leaf quality, apples and soft almond. The fruit is dry like apricot and a touch of juicier ripe pear. The palate is dry, with thrilling acidity, salty and like apple cores, driving an umami-fresh finish.
(2019) From two vineyards of dry land Chenin Blanc bush vines, planted in 1980 and 2002. Fermented and aged in small and large oak barrels, this has sweet earth on the nose and sour lemon and lemon rind fruit. The palate is all about orange and clove, the skin-contact giving grip and a real whip of acidity and tannin finishing very briskly and racily.
(2019) Around 19% Verdelho, from Swartland, and Chenin from Swartland old vines with a little from Bot River. Natural yeast and very little intervention. Older oak, large barrels. Very little oak influence, just a touch of almondy undertone. Nice spices here, touches of ash and tobacco, touches of clove and wheat beer. Lovely pure, light and fresh lemon and lime fruit. There is lovely sweetness here, like the juiciest orange or lime, into a long, lightly spicy finish.
(2019) Weighing-in with only 12.5% ABV, this fruit comes from a 1964 vineyard in the Swartland. Really lovely Brazil nut character, but lots of funkiness, the butter and lanolin beneath, some floral elegant hints and although only 12.5%, no sign of greenness, just a terrific acidity that is tangy and salty. Beautifully balanced.
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