Black Pearl Chenin Blanc 2021
2021 is a lively wine with zippy flavors of guava, creamy pineapple, pink lady apples and melon. The wine has the kind of texture you want from a good Chenin, with a long finish and enough acid to keep it vibrant. The wine has a full nose of tropical fruit leading onto limes and apricots on the palate. A truly complex white wine, with only a few thousand bottles produced. With regards to aging potential, this wine should be drunk within 5-7 years of the vintage. The 2021 vintage is delicious on its own, but has tons of flavors, making it a versatile partner for many different dishes including Thai food, curries, and pulled pork.
90 pts Decanter World Wine Awards
89 points James Suckling
89 pts John Platter
Chenin Blanc is harvested from a farm which borders Agter Paarl in Wellington, from dry farmed vines of 20 to 40 years old. This wine should be drunk within 3-4 years of the vintage.
The Black Pearl Chenin Blanc 2021 comes from 16 year old bush vines, Clone SN22 – from the Loire Valley, grown on slate soil in the Swartland close to Riebeek West. Harvesting takes place early in the morning by hand. Yield are about 4t/a. After destemming/crushing the juice stays cold for natural settling. Fermentation takes place with two yeasts, Lalvin QA23 yeast which develops passionfruit characteristics, and Zymaflore X5 yeast which produces clean whites with high aromatic intensity. After fermentation the wine sits on the lees for a few months to add to the mouth feel. Wine is made simply, with a non-interventionist approach. Filtered and bottled within 6-9 months of harvest, with a tiny sulfur adjustment. 1500 bottles made.
Mary Lou Nash & family relocated from New Hampshire in 1995 and taught themselves how to grow grapes and make wine. The 4.5 hectares of Shiraz (planted 1998) and 3 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon (planted 1999) are nestled between a parcel of extremely rare patch of Renosterveld (an indigenous flora) which is considered a World Heritage area. Since no white grapes are grown on this particular property, Mary Lou buys fruit elsewhere and produces this Chenin in a bright, fruit forward style, that’s easy to drink. Given that the region she’s from is quite warm (like Paso) it makes little sense to work with Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay – making Chenin Blanc not just the natural choice, but an early revenue generator, while the reds sit in barrel.