New vintage of Luddite Chenin shines a light for artisanal passion
Chenin 2019 made ‘with the patience and precision of a stamp collector
The latest vintage of Luddite Wines’ Chenin has just been bottled and, as has become tradition with this popular white, is ever so briefly now up for grabs.
Just 1 130 bottles have emanated from the celebrated, family-owned winery of Niels and Penny Verburg. Luddite is among the stars of Bot River, a region known for its fierce independence and jovial informality. Its winemaking though is serious business. The Chenin is an outlet for the geek in Niels. It allows him to remember himself as a stamp collector – precise and patient but allowing the wine to speak for itself.
The Luddite Chenin 2019 has a rich hue reminiscent of gold-coloured straw. Aromas speak of spice, some roasted almonds and star anise, later opening to hints of white peach. The palate has a refreshing, slightly saline character with nuttiness. Then, notes of pear, spice and cinnamon show themselves. The finish is long and lean, trailing to hints of peach.
In line with the philosophy of “hands-off winemaking”, the process is kept simple. The Chenin blanc grapes hail from a single vineyard tended by Penny, who prunes and suckers alone.
Prepped by her hands alone and shared with nature, including the pesky birds! Come harvest, the grapes are crushed, de-stalked and given time to ferment naturally, on the skins in open tanks. They press directly to barrel with as much sediment as possible. This allows the wine to fill out and adds texture.
The Luddite Chenin 2019 was born from a block initially intended to supply the house. It was a Christmas present to themselves; to have unlimited white wine coming straight from the cellar under the house into the kitchen. The first bottle was 2012 and it was so yummy, it sold out and never made it to her kitchen. Ever since, each vintage has sold out on release.
It is the only white, single variety wine made at Luddite. Also in the portfolio is the legendary Luddite Shiraz, and two blends under the Saboteur label.
For more information, visit www.luddite.co.za or follow them on social media: ludditewines (Facebook) and luddite_wines (Instagram).