You know when something feels ‘just right’… you can’t explain it… it just ‘IS’? Well, that’s how Boutinot feel about Donovan Rall who they think is simply one of the biggest talents in South Africa! The towering talent of this itinerant winemaker impressed all last year with the Vuurberg blends, and the new vintages are something else. It was only a matter of time, then, before they hand-bagged him into working with them on a Boutinot South Africa project.
Donovan trained with Eben Sadie and Miles Mossop before doing his own thing, and the influence shows but these are very much his own take and finds. Crafted at Zorgvliet’s garagiste studio winery, Donovan has put together a pure Chenin and Syrah – in fact his first ever straight varietal wines.
Technically, these are 70-year-old bush vines but classified as 40 y/o (because at this time, classification wasn’t the ‘thing’). This single rocky slope is also home to South Africa’s highest rated Grenache block and grows hug-a-mug with the regions indigenous rooibos tea plants. Because rooibos cannot be cultivated and only grows wild, where it does grow, even it that be in the middle of your ancient Chenin block, you have to let it be!
The fruit is stolen away at night or in the small hours of the morning in a chilled grocery truck, had sorted at Zorgvliet winery by Donovan Rall. It’s then naturally fermented in old old wooden barrels and steel, portions of which take up to 10 months to compete. Finally, the wine is gently racked and bottled - only 4000 bottles in total.
Complex sandy stone fruit nose with notes of crushed granite, slightly saline and wait… is that Rooibos I can smell?! Palate has firm, high-key fruit, a broad texture and quiet persistence that persists and persists. Ultimately this is a deeply satisfying single vineyard, ancient vine block with a genuinely unique terroir feel and character from an unforgettably surprising vineyard. The awesome 2015 vintage reflects all of the above but the drop of Grenache Blanc from the same block in this vintage adds even more spice and texture.
- Additional Information
Name The Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc Country South Africa Region Western Cape ABV% 12.5% Vintage 2017 Grape Variety 100% Chenin Blanc Size 750ml Dietary Information Suitable for Vegetarians, Suitable for Vegans