2014 Man Vintners Chenin Blanc

2014 Man Vintners Chenin Blanc

Guess how many 90 point rated wines we have in the store that retail for less than $10? One, and it’s this one, and it’s definitely going to go down as one of the great white wine finds of the year for us.

South Africa does Chenin Blanc incredibly well, but you would have to jump up to the $15+ range to find another 90+ pointer.

2014 MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc

2014 MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc

90 points Wine Advocate

This vintage is sold out. Click here to view and buy the current release in our online store.

Neil Martin of The Wine Advocate says “The 2014 Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc has a focused, clinical bouquet with pineapple and lemon zest, hints of passion fruit developing just behind. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity: plenty of tropical fruit on display here but neatly delineated on the tense and citric finish that linger in the mouth. Quite simply, this represents unbeatable value.

So how does a small, family winery started by three friends produce such a delicious wine with big press at such a low price? I really don’t know the answer to that question, but what I can tell you is that this wine is pulsating with quality from top to bottom. Man Vintners was started by three veterans of the South African wine industry and their connections to high quality fruit combined with their experience making premium wines might be the main reason that this is so good.

The other reason is the fruit source — 23 year old, dry farmed, sustainably grown Chenin Blanc from the Paarl region in South Africa’s Western Cape. All of the grapes are hand harvested to ensure delicate handling and quality selection and only the free-run juice was used for this wine to preserve freshness and purity. That’s where the extended name “Free Run Steen-Chenin Blanc” comes from. Steen, in case you didn’t know, is what the South Africans call Chenin Blanc.

Trivialities aside, this not just a good bottle of wine, it’s a damn good bottle of wine. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel and the wine is fermented completely dry. The wine pours a lovely light straw color and the bouquet expresses itself right when the wine hits the glass. Aromas of lemon, pineapple, crisp apple, flower and a touch of mineral lead into a medium bodied, crisp and refreshing palate of mixed citrus and stone fruits. The wine finishes with the slightest hint of wet stone (aka mineral), but it’s just enough to make the wine interesting.

What else can I say other than how much would you like? I will add that this is perfect for sipping at the pool, at the beach, or on your porch/patio all spring and summer. It would also make a delightful partner to poultry, shellfish and vegetable dishes.

This vintage is sold out. Click here to view and buy the current release in our online store.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville