Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes The Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2016 has been selected as one of the winning wines of the 2017 Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge, convened by South Africa’s Chenin Blanc Association.

This follows international recognition achieved for the same wine at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards in London earlier this year, where it won a platinum award for the best South African Chenin blanc priced at over £15.

Wines entered for the 2017 Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge, now in its fourth year, were blind-tasted by a panel of local and international judges including Cathy van Zyl, a Master of Wine, wine judge and associate editor of Platter’s South African Wine Guide; Richard Kershaw, a Master of Wine and winemaker; Tinashe Nyamudoka, head sommelier at The Test Kitchen, South Africa’s top restaurant; James Pietersen of Wine Cellar; as well as Lauren Buzzeo, the newly appointed managing editor and tasting director of Wine Enthusiast in the US; and Marlvin Gwese, sommelier at the Cape Grace, who acted as an associate judge.

The Anchorman is a wooded Chenin blanc that commemorates Nederburg’s founder, Philippus Wolvaart, who bought the farm in 1791 and planted Chenin blanc, amongst other varietals.  The wine forms part of the winery’s Heritage Heroes collection comprising five distinct wines, each honouring a personality who has played a role in shaping Nederburg’s pedigree over more than two centuries.

“The Chenin blanc fruit for this wine was sourced from old, low-yielding, dry-land bush vines in Paarl, Durbanville and Darling. Each vineyard tells a story of place, in turn influencing fruit character,” says Andrea Freeborough, Nederburg’s cellar-master.

“The Darling and Durbanville vines are located in a cooler climate area, resulting in the slow ripening of the grapes to deliver intensely flavoured berries with concentrated varietal character and freshness. The Paarl fruit grows under warmer conditions, providing fruit with ripe, intense fruit flavours.

“The Anchorman is a very interesting and expressive wine featuring a blend of very differently vinified components. One portion of Chenin fruit was fermented in second- and third-fill 300-litre barrels. A second component was fermented in stainless-steel tanks, while a third was fermented in very old, large vats and the remainder involved a fermentation technique usually reserved for red wines. Called carbonic maceration, whole bunches which are neither crushed nor pressed, are allowed to ferment spontaneously. The resultant wine tends to be light and fruity. This technique was chosen for the freshness it would impart to the wine. After fermentation, the various components were kept on the lees for 9 months prior to final blending and bottling.”

The wine offers a superb combination of freshness and complexity with ripe apricot, orange and floral characters laced with spice and minerality. Freeborough suggests serving the wine with fresh fish and seafood, poultry, veal, pasta and salads.
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