Grape – Chenin Blanc
Where – Paarl, South Africa
What – This is a wine that, in the name of honesty, we could have quite happily kept to ourselves. There’s plenty of producers across the world that go to huge lengths to make the best wines, but for Albert Ahren, we can put a number on that; 40,000km. This is how far he drives a year between vineyards located anywhere for Swartland to Franshhoek, Elgin to Helderberg. For him, “address” is everything, making The Ahrens Family Wines more terroir-driven than focused on grape variety.
Albert’s winemaking style is heavily focused on the natural, with indigenous yeasts from the vineyards, spontaneous MLF and only fresh components. All his wines are fermented in older French oak barrels for which the purpose is micro-oxygenation and a less smokey finish on his whites.
The Paarl Old Vine Chenin is a ridiculously striking natural white wine. ‘Elegant’ could sum it up in one word, but we’ve got a lot more to say about it than that!
The aroma beams with stone fruit and crème patissiere which immediately draws you in. After this big hit of perfume, the mouthfeel is full and lingering with a medium acidity, floral notes and tropical flavours. Melon, pineapple and papaya are present in a big way before a super long finish where a delicate spice really shines. An absolute 10/10. So good you might even tear up.
Elegant, peachy, luxurious. Vegetarian. Low intervention. Organic practicing. ABV 13.5%.