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Editor Andrew Arnott

Andrew Arnott

Andrew studied Literature and Sociology at UCT before setting off on a global trek that saw him working under the seas of the Caribbean, on the snow covered slopes of the Canadian Rockies and writing for a variety of financial and travel institutions. Now at home in Cape Town, Andrew’s passions for wine and writing are married on this blog.

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Flagstone Tributary Chenin Blanc 2015

Our first permanent single varietal expression of Chenin Blanc, something to look forward to later this year. 

During Cape Wine 2015, trade title Drinksbusiness.com ran an interview with Bruce Jack, founder of Flagstone and head winemaker in South Africa for international wine company Accolade Wines, on Chenin Blanc. What particularly caught the eye is that Flagstone have launched Tributary 2015, an interpretation of the grape set to sell in the UK at €30 a bottle.

From 45-year-old Perdeberg vineyards, 70% was fermented in tank and 30% in barrel. Jack reckons Chenin can offer the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc, the subtlety of Pinot Grigio, the body of Chardonnay and the age-worthiness of Riesling and Tributary 2015 is a remarkable and somewhat unusual take on the variety.

Closed under screwcap, the wine is initially shy on the nose and tight on the palate. It, however, opens up wonderfully to reveal aromas of citrus, pear and peach, some talcum powder, potpourri and dried herbs. The palate shows fabulous fruit concentration and driving acidity, a little bit of phenolic grip adding interest on the finish. It’s muscular and lithe and not nearly as oxidative as other top-end examples often are.

Winemag rating: 94/100



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