The Indaba Chenin Blanc 2015 is sourced from several vineyards in the Swartland, Paarl and Stellenbosch growing regions in the Western Cape area of South Africa. Chenin Blanc is the most planted grape in South Africa and has become “the wine of South Africa.” Originally, Chenin Blanc was a well known grape from the Loire Valley in France, if you see Vouvray on the shelf at your local wine shop, that’s Chenin grown near the town of Vouvray (France). Since most French wine is known by the place name and not the grape varietal, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, Chenin Blanc kind of got lost in the shuffle in the minds of American wine drinkers. Chenin Blanc is one of those “all-rounder” grapes, it can be made into anything from crisp and light to plump and juicy and also makes a terrific Sparkling wine. Indaba is a Zulu term for a gathering of the tribe where the elders would discuss the problems of the day. The winemaker is Bruwer Raats who heads his own well-respected winery and is a leading South African producer of Chenin Blanc. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a pale wheat yellow. The nose is soft and delicate, peach, pear, melon, lime and spring flowers. This is a balanced, but fruit-forward Chenin, with smooth ripe flavors and a solid dose of acidity. It starts with a mix of peach and grapefruit juice (that sounds like a weird concoction, but it works) followed by tart apple and a slap of lemon. The mid-palate shows a light touch of vanilla cream, Anjou Pear along with a dash of lime. The acidity is solid, remember for all wine and especially for quality white wine, insistent but balanced amount of acidity is essential. The finish is tart and lingers for quite some time.
The Indaba Chenin Blanc 2015 is a very tasty, well-made bottle of wine, especially when you consider that it can be found for $10 and under. If you every get in a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio rut, consider a Chenin Blanc to break the boredom. It possesses many familiar flavors and textures and South Africa offers more “bang for the buck” than most regions producing those other grape varietals. The Indaba drinks very well and would really shine at your local Thai or Chinese BYOB or with fancy and creative salads. And of course, chill down a bottle or two and enjoy while sitting out on the deck.