Botrytis Selection Chenin Blanc 2014

After writing 3 sets of tasting notes for these “sticky” mothers-of-all-wines, I am fast running out of superlatives! Each is different but I have come to realise they owe little of their enormous character and flavour profiles to their varietal heritage. Of more importance is the ripeness of the grapes at the point at which botrytis sets in, the weather thereafter, the steel-balled patience of both viticulturist and winemaker and finally the fermentation environment provided and maintained for the yeast to grow and carry out their ancient biblical conversion.

The generous pond of deep golden colour, like the swish of the Vicars stole on Sunday morning, heralds the serious nature of what is to follow. From the glass rises sweet honeydew melon, frangipani, and lush dried apricot aromas. Butterscotch, pungent rose water and crystallised ginger show classically what happens when the blessed rot invades defenceless ripe grapes. The first impression to thump home on the palate is the viscosity –thick, creamy and uncommonly good, you can feel the tackiness between the tongue and cheek as if it might set at any moment. At the same time the wine is tantalisingly prickly like shattered ice swirling in a margarita mix  during blending. Huge intensity with gushy flavours of sticky-dried figs and oven-fresh hokey pokey overwhelm the senses with a liveliness not seen since Iggy Pop first hit the stage bare-chested. Powerful acidity engenders balance yet is so rounded and rolled into the myriad of other parameters that it is hard to identify in this truly seamless wine. A truly heavenly creature!        

 

Technical Information:

Harvest date: 4 June 2009
Brix at Harvest: 37.7
Final Alcohol: 9.7%
pH: 2.81
Total Acidity: 10.2g/l
Residual Sugar: 197g/l
Bottling Date: 21 August 2009
Release Date: 1 November 2009
Cellaring: 2 to 8 years