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The Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc

You know when something feels just right'"¦ you can't explain it"¦ it just IS'? Well, that's how Boutinot feel about Donovan Rall who they think is simply one of the biggest talents in South Africa! The towering talent of this itinerant winemaker impressed all last year with the Vuurberg blends, and the new vintages are something else. It was only a matter of time, then, before they hand-bagged him into working with them on a Boutinot South Africa project.

Donovan trained with Eben Sadie and Miles Mossop before doing his own thing, and the influence shows but these are very much his own take and finds. Crafted at Zorgvliet's garagiste studio winery, Donovan has put together a pure Chenin and Syrah, in fact his first ever straight varietal wines.

Technically, these are 70-year-old bush vines but classified as 40 y/o (because at this time, classification wasn't the thing'). This single rocky slope is also home to South Africa's highest rated Grenache block and grows hug-a-mug with the regions indigenous rooibos tea plants. Because rooibos cannot be cultivated and only grows wild, where it does grow, even it that be in the middle of your ancient Chenin block, you have to let it be!


Vineyards high above the valley floor on the Piekenierskloof escarpment are home to old blocks of CheninPalomino and younger Grenache Blanc vines. In all these blocks the indigenous rooibos tea plant grows wild. Grapes are harvested in the early hours and then a further selection is made by hand at the winery to select the best fruit. The wine is naturally fermented in old wooden barrels and steel, portions of which take up to 10 months to complete. Finally, the wine is gently racked and bottled in South Africa.

Tasting Notes 

Complex stone fruit nose with notes of crushed granite, slightly saline. The palate has firm, high-key fruit, a gentle, sandy texture and persistence. Ultimately this is a deeply satisfying wine made from a blend of old bush vine Chenin BlancPalomino and Grenache Blanc vines in Piekenierskloof and Paarl with each cultivar bringing a unique component to this definitive Cape brew.

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