David Finlayson Camino Africana Chenin Blanc 2017
93 pts Tim Atkin MW 2018
Still a little tight on the palate, but given the quality of previous vintages, this is bound to open up in bottle. With notes of thatch and honey on the nose, this segues into a palate of pear, cinnamon spice and pithy acidity. 2019-23.
All grapes were hand picked from two vineyards of bushvines planted in 1947 and 1961, pressed whole bunch and then fermented with natural yeast in older French oak barrels. Sulphured after primary fermentation to prevent MLF, followed by 11 months maturation on the lees.
This is a combination of grapes from the second oldest vineyard of Chenin Blanc in South Africa, planted in 1947, and another 55 year old bushvine vineyard. The wine was made with the absolute minimum intervention and to allow the old vines to express the true flavors of the site and variety with as gentle a human touch as possible. The wine has an unmistakable minerality and the salty, Umami flavor on the palate that can only be found when vines have struggled for decades to make their mark in the soil. This wine signifies something truly special to me as a winemaker and is part of my journey in life and wine in South Africa, hence the name, Camino Africana, “The African Way.”