Tuesday, February 07, 2006

KWV Steen 2004 wine review by (PB)

Belfast (Maine) is about an hour’s ride east so I don’t get out there as much as I would like. But this Saturday found me with a bad case of houseitis so we took a quick trip to the coast to visit a wine shop I’ve been to before. I met Martin Gottlieb–a New York transplant–managing the store called “The Clown.” I have been to their shop in Portland Maine as well and it is well stocked with an intelligent selection of a wide range of wines.

Mr. Gottlieb made a couple recommendations of which I took advantage and learned something in the process. I am a big fan of Chenin Blanc and he recommended this wine by KWV–a South African mega-giant corporation that markets and trades wines and spirits around the globe.

This inexpensive wine–$8–is pale straw on the pour with a really nice bouquet of buttery notes and pineapple with a hint of pears. In the mouth it is very well made with a supple texture and solid balance.

The pineapple carries through with a nice mouth feel though there is a slight bitterness mid palate that flees leaving a finish that lingers with buttery fruit. This is why listening to a trusted shop steward pays off. First, in all my years of study, I never knew “Steen” was the S. African name for Chenin Blanc. Second, I could have took a shot in the dark at this shop but the manager gave me some suggestions of which I took advantage.

Based on this suggestion, I can’t wait to try the other two I bought. If you like Chenin blanc–and why wouldn’t you–search this out and grab a couple; then raise a glass! Thanks Mr. G!


Mark Wagner said...

You guys must be on the East coast... you have a wine review posted before I've even left work! ;)

I enjoy The Wine Cask Blog. My subscription is in the "and Life" category of my feed reader. :)


David Ogilvie said...

I am a big fan of Chenin, and I think the South Africans do the grape justice ten-fold. I like there style a lot. What other Chenin Blancs are you a fan of? There is a little known region in California tyring to make their name on it, called the Clarksburg Appelation. Some good wines are coming out of there and all of the Napa/Sonoma wineries who make the varietal source their fruit form there too. One of the more sought after ones is the Chenin-Viognier from Pine Ridge in Napa.