Ernie Els Big Easy Chenin Blanc 2011

Tasting Date: 7/5/2012

Varietal: Chenin Blanc 2011

Country: South Africa

Tasting Date Price: $18.99

Rating: WS 87

Alcohol Content: 13.5

Vineyard Website: click here http://www.ernieelswines.com/

Visual Aspect: Clear

Nose: Peach, petrol, oiliness

Palate: Tangerine, sweet orange, weighty minerality, lime.

Food Pairing: Seafood, shell fish.

Winery Notes: The build-up to the harvest was fairly normal – a cold and wet winter, followed by a spring which saw a nice, even budding of the grape varieties in the vineyard. November was fairly wet and December was the windiest month recorded in Stellenbosch since 1968. This resulted in dry conditions in the vineyards, which persisted in January and February. This can be helpful as it results in a small berry size, which improves the intensity of the wines. These dry conditions and the heat wave in early March, however, hastened the harvesting of grapes several weeks early, in order to limit the alcohol levels that will result in the fermented grapes. Supplementary irrigation on the properties maintained conditions for the late ripening varietals. Grapes harvested at the beginning of the season have good analysis, especially in respect of pH. Good wine quality may be expected from these early cultivars, in particular Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. During the latter half of the harvest season, high temperatures caused sugars to shoot up while the pH remained low. The high temperatures mentioned above also caused the analysis to reveal low acids. During the latter half of the ripening period these high temperatures also put pressure on cellar space. It was a good year in terms of yield and quality, especially with regard to early and mid-season cultivars.

About the vineyard

The grapes were harvested from low yielding vines from three different viticulture areas. Each viticulture area gives its own unique flavor profile to the final blend.  Wine was mainly sourced from cooler coastal regions.

About The Harvest

The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning. Grape bunches were gently destalked with a Bucher de-stalker and lightly crushed. The wine was settled overnight and racked off the sediment. Fermentation took place at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks with a combination of yeast. The wine is made in a fresh fruity style without any wood component.

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