2019 Quinta Essentia

Chenin Blanc

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Quinta Essentia is made from unique old mature bush vine Chenin Blanc vineyards, grown on four special sites on the foothills of the mountains in and around Stellenbosch. These old vines are dry farmed, and produce optimally ripe fruit with excellent sugar and acid balance. The vines bear their fruit about 20 inches from the ground. The mature vines benefit from a naturally lower vigor and thereby carry their fruit in full exposure to the sun, which results in great flavor concentration. All fruit is harvested by hand.

Soils are of sandstone and granitic origin and result in intensely flavored fruit, that yields wines that are structured and very aromatic.

2019 was marked by a dry winter, with record warmth during July. This, together with cooler Spring weather, resulted in uneven budding. Further inclement weather during Spring with periods of lower-than-average temperature, wind, and intermittent rain, resulted in uneven flowering. This all combined to produce variable fruit ripeness on the vine. This was particularly evident on younger vines. All the parcels going into Quinta Essentia are older than 35 years and the deep root systems of these old vines sustain them during variable weather events.  Whilst the grapes from 2019 were lighter in concentration than in 2015 and 2017, there was a particular freshness and chemical balance that resulted in wines with great balance. Chenin Blanc responds well to vintages that may give a more uneven ripeness, in producing wines that age well, with lasting elegance.

Wine Specifications

  • Vintage: 2019
  • Varietal: Chenin Blanc
  • Appellation: Stellenbosch
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • Region: South Africa
  • Tasting Notes

    A light-yellow color with a green tinge suggests a cooler vintage. Fresh tropical fruits, bright peach, yellow apple, and a trademark hint of flint, greet the nose. The palate starts with expressive ripe orchard fruits and then melds into honeyed almond, ginger spice, and notes of Crème brûlée. The wine is poised and balanced, with a great combination of ripeness and mineral tension. Maturation for 10 months on full lees, in oak barrels has resulted in a wonderful combination of creamy richness.

    The 2019 Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc is drinking beautifully on release. Further cellaring for up to twelve years from vintage will reward with development into a highly complex taste profile.

  • Winemaker notes

    After arriving at the winery, hand-picked fruit was chilled overnight to below 10 degrees Celsius. Whole bunch pressing resulted in only the best juice being pressed from the bunches, with very light additions of sulfur on the pressed juice. The juice was naturally settled without the use of enzymes and transferred to a selection of French oak casks the following day. Fermentation occurs naturally and lasts for 8 to 24 weeks with periodic battonage to provide oxygen to yeast and create a round mouthfeel. Slightly less new oak was used in 2019 to complement the more elegant style of fruit. After ferments had been completed, the barrels were topped, given a moderate addition of sulfur and “tight bunged” on top of the gross fermentation lees. The individual barrels were aged separately with barrel selection and blending being done in December 2019.

    The Quinta Essentia blend is made from only the best barrels, after which the blend of different vineyards is matured for a further 6 weeks in stainless steel. The final blend was given a light fining and bottled with minimal filtration in late January 2020.

2019 Quinta Essentia