Backsberg Releases “Go-to” Chenin Blanc 2017
The release of Backsberg Estate Cellars’ Chenin Blanc 2017 underscores the excellence of this year’s South African vintage, as well as the exceptional quality of Chenin Blanc grapes grown in various regions of the Cape Winelands. According to Backsberg CEO Simon Back, Chenin Blanc remains one of Backsberg’s most popular varietal wines, with grapes being sourced from various Western Cape regions to create a signature house-style that over the past few decades has found favour with local and international consumers alike.
“As a Paarl wine farm with a history dating back more than a century, one can probably say that there is no chance of Backsberg not making Chenin Blanc. It is a wine that is part of South Africa’s DNA and is currently experiencing a renaissance,” says Back.
“The wine is made in our winery from grapes sourced from established Chenin Blanc vineyards in Darling, Wellington and Paarl allowing us to create a wine which brings diverse terroirs together to express a specific Backsberg Chenin style. This is clean and bright fruit, a pleasing presence on the palate and overall drinking enjoyment, refreshment and providing immense satisfaction – everything we believe to be Chenin Blanc’s best-loved qualities.”
The wine is unwooded and undergoes a long, cool fermentation at 13°C in stainless steel to capture the essence of the Chenin Blanc fruit.
“At Backsberg we have found that keeping 6 grams/liter of residual sugar in the wine is literally the sweet-spot for our style of Chenin Blanc,” says Back. “Consumers love to taste sun and fruit in their white wine.The 6 grams of residual sugar is balanced by the total acidity of 5.8 grams/liter to ensure the fruit-forward flavour profile is fresh and perky. The modest alcohol of 12.7% adds to the drinkability of the wine.”
Back, who spends one month each year marketing his wine in America, says Chenin Blanc is most definitely a variety with which South Africa is making its mark in the international arena.
“As a country we have done sterling work in promoting Chenin Blanc as one of South Africa’s calling cards, and the fact that we make such a diverse range of styles from the grape most definitely also helps,” he says. “As I found out during my trip to America this year, it is very difficult to get a restaurant or retailer interested in ubiquitous wines such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc as they are spoilt for choice in this regard. Chenin Blanc, however, offers a point of differentiation that is slowly gaining traction for South Africa, and for us at Backsberg it will always be one of our staple offerings.”
Res. Sugar: 6 g/l pH: 3.33 Total Acidity: 5.8g/l Alcohol: 12.7