Brett happens

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Cookin’ Chenin

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A couple of years ago, I asked an SAQ wine advisor to recommend the cheapest drinkable white wine for cooking. This was her suggestion and it’s been a staple in my fridge ever since. If I’m not mistaken, the 2014 is just off the boat.

Robertson (Western Cape) 2014, Chenin Blanc, Robertson Winery ($10.55, 10754228)
100% Chenin Blanc from over 30 irrigated vineyards. After (mechanical?) harvesting, the grapes were gently pressed using a pneumatic bag press. Fermentation in temperature-controlled (13°C) stainless steel tanks lasted 18 days. Probably filtered and fined though I’ve not been able to confirm that. Screwcapped. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Univins.
Low-key nose of green grapes, peach, citrus, chalk, honeycomb. Medium-bodied. Clean attack. The slightly waxy texture speaks of a certain level of extract, though this isn’t an exuberantly fruity wine. There’s tangy acidity, a mineral-hinting-at-bitter note and a touch of residual sugar to round the edges. Little depth or length but it’s fresh, affable and easy to drink: think New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on Valium. A wine almost no one could object to, which is both its strong point and its weak point. (Buy again? As a cooking wine I might sip while working in the kitchen, yes. As a white to pour at a low-budget reception, sure. As something to serve to wine-geek friends, probably not.)

Written by carswell

October 8, 2014 at 14:08

3 Responses

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  1. J’ai adoré tous les millésimes jusqu’à ce que je tombe sur le 2013…. Testé à deux reprises, il avait ce nouveau goût, assez subtil, de cacao/torréfaction propre à certains rouges d afrique du sud (wtf?)…

    En espérant que le 2014 nous revienne crystal clear!


    October 20, 2014 at 12:22

    • Intéressant, Étienne. Je n’ai pas trouvé de telles notes de cacao/torréfaction dans le 2014. Si tu le dégustes, tu nous diras ce que tu en penses.

      Au plaisir !


      October 22, 2014 at 23:26

  2. […] IGP des Côtes de Gascogne 2012, Les Tours, Domaine La Hitaire ($10.20, 00567891) About two-thirds Ugni Blanc and one-third Colombard with a dollop of Gros Manseng from half-century-old vines. Cold-macerated on the skins for six to eight hours. Low-temperature fermentation. The finished wine is stored in tanks at near-freezing temperatures and bottled year-round on an as-needed basis. Sees only stainless steel. Vegetarian-compatible. Screwcapped. 10.5% per the label, 11.5% per the SAQ. Quebec agent: Mosaïque. Opens with a whiff of screwcap funk evocative of mesclun that’s past its best before date. As that blows off, canned peach and rock aromas emerge and are eventually joined by Sauvignon Blanc-ish grass and gooseberry notes. In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied but lacks substance (“a bit watery” one of the tasters noted). That said, it’s fresh and clean, despite the hint of residual sugar, which effectively counters the crisp acidity, lends the wine some weight and tames its citrus-pithiness. Suffered from the comparison with a significantly more expensive wine; would probably have fared better on its own. (Buy again? Sure though not in preference to the similarly priced Robertson Chenin Blanc.) […]

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