Drinking Tonight: Protea Chenin Blanc

Found this bottle at Bruning’s Wine Cellar the other day and giving it a shot with a salad and some Norwegian wolf fish – I’ve made a mirepoix with a little tomato, and am cooking the fish in parchment paper and foil on the grill.  I really don’t want to heat the house up today!

This is a 2012 from the Coastal Region, in a distinctive painted-glass bottle. Protea is the national flower of South Africa, and it’s the nickname of their national cricket team as well. The wine is $17 – about the most I’ve ever paid for a South African Chenin Blanc; let’s see if it’s worth it.



Color: Pale blonde; there’s a touch of residual carbon dioxide – not unusual for this grape –  that shows up as very fine bubbles when it’s initially poured.

Aroma: quite lovely, with honeysuckle, honeydew melon, canteloupe, and a touch of fresh grass and apple blossoms.

Taste: this is expansive on the palate, with a big front mouthful of fruit, followed by a gentler midpalate with some Golden Delicious apple, and then a more aromatic finish. Good acidity throughout, and this is better at 45º than 35º.

Maybe the best Chenin Blanc I’ve ever had – I am truly impressed by this.  Can’t wait for dinner to come off the grill!


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