May 25, 2005

Simonsig 2004 Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc

(Imported by Quintessential, St. Helena, CA; about $9.99)

The sweet golden fruit flavors of this wine have a crispness that bring to mind the refreshing crunch of an early fall apple. It’s made from chenin blanc, a grape that excels only in two places: France’s Loire Valley and South Africa, where Chenin used to be so popular that it made up a third of the vineyard acreage. That number is falling as vintners turn their attention to more commercially popular grapes, but the three Malan brothers who run Simonsig turn out a version so flavorful that it should make others think twice before pulling out their vines. It’s the sort of white wine you’ll want to keep in the fridge, ready for drop-in guests.

This recommendation first appeared in the Denver Post.

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