Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2008 Graham Beck Gamekeeper's Reserve Chenin Blanc Western Cape South Africa

2008 Graham Beck Gamekeeper's Reserve Chenin Blanc Western Cape South Africa
Suggested retail price $12-$15
Distributed by Vias Imports in NYC

I remembered when I was a young Sommelier in London, I used to serve and pour a lot of South African wines. I must say that London, compared to New York (then and even now), has a much better selection of South-African wines. There are still quite a few brands, that I still can not find in New York, that have been and still represent the benchmark of South-Africa. I guess the demand for these wines is not as high in the US as in Europe, and especially UK.

However, among the few good one that we have in New York, Graham Beck has always been a consistent and well received quality brand, usually understood and appreciated by the American consumers.

Despite some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and a few other white wines, the most well-known and respected white grape from South-Africa is Chenin Blanc, also called Steen.

Graham Beck has a great website full of info for you to explore at www.grahambeckwines.com

Vinified at Franschhoek Cellar, this wine was made from Coastal Region grapes harvested on low yielding, 40-45 year old bush vines planted on rolling hills exposed to south eastern winds, rain and lots of sunshine (in short: great exposition). Dryland vineyards planted on very deep soils. The grapes were left to ripen fully to ensure the development of the rich and ripe flavors and complexity.

2008 Graham Beck Gamekeeper's Reserve Chenin Blanc: at first, the nose was a bit restraint, then it started to open after a few swirl. Aromas of tropical fruit, ripe pineapple, white peach, melon and honey with notes of white blossom started to flourish on the nose. The attack is juicy, interesting, full and very fruity. The palate expands gently with layers of ripe tropical fruit complemented by great acidity, accentuated in the long clean and crisp finish. Nice and rounded, it has an enjoyable way of coating the palate.


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