Lourens Family Wines Skuinskap Steen Chenin Blanc 2020
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PRODUCER: When does the apprentice become the master? Franco Lourens was the assistant winemaker at Alheit Family Wines in Walker Bay. This breathtakingly self-assured range, in almost a blink of an eye, placed Franco into the very top bracket of top-end New Wave SA producers. Franco is a leading light of South Africa’s New Wave and champion of old-vine Chenin, among others. From Chris’s cellar in Hemel-en-Aarde Franco has made some serious wines. I mean, these are impressive bottlings by any standard – powerful, concentrated, yet supremely elegant and finely detailed.
WINEMAKING: The grapes were handpicked and hand sorted at the winery. Then the bunches are left intact and whole-bunch pressed and after a very light settling racked to older French barriques where the wine ferments on lees. Weekly battonage is implemented with the wine not seeing a racking until bottling. After 10 months in wood the wine is then racked to tank and bottled without fining and only a very coarse filtration and small sulfur addition.
TASTING NOTE: An intriguing nose of yellow stone fruits and herbs. The palate is bright and very well balanced, with clean acidity and savory salinity. It finishes long and smooth, with a touch of white pepper.