If you Google ‘Adi Badenhorst,’ you will discover a multitude of articles and pictures describing a bearded, charismatic maverick of wine-making. WineSpectator calls him ‘a wooly bear,’ WineAnorak describes him as ‘a showman, with a nice line in self-depreciation.’ He has even been featured by the Daily Mail: ‘the joker in Swartland.’
He sounds like a great guy, but how is his wine? Temptingly, it is impeccably well reviewed. Therefore, seeing his famously good value ‘Secateurs’ chenin blanc on offer at Swig.co.uk for only £8.05, I made the order and drank up.
Secateurs 2011, Chenin Blanc, Badenhorst Family Wines, Swartland, South Africa
Rich golden colour. Clearly viscous in the glass. Honeyed nose with obvious pear and peach fruit, along with pretty floral notes. The palate demonstrates rich peach fruit, salted butter, some watermelon. Brief warm mid palate transitioning into stoney minerality as the long saline finish begins. More than good value, this is complex, intense and exciting. Lovely acidity. 91 points (BP).
Learning point: I want to be Adi Badenhorst.
Domaine des Forges, L’Audace, Anjou, Loire, France 2012.
100% Chenin Blanc, aged in oak barrels, 13% alcohol.
Bin end wine around £10.
Appearance: Crystal clear, pale gold, good legs.
Nose: Intense and clear notes of green apple.
Palate: Dry white wine with high acidity. Light in body with medium (+) alcohol for the style. Medium intensity of flavour, again dominated by green apple with an undercurrent of pear. Oak adds a slight buttery complexity, particularly as the wine warmed up and on tasting the second day. Racy minerality works well with the acidity leading on to a medium length finish.
Score: 88-90/100 (DT)
Conclusion: Maybe not for everyone but I found this a refreshing and somewhat different aperitif. In a way it reminded me of a Chablis but with the dominant green apple flavour at the front of the palate. A well made and food friendly wine. Not quite as good as the Coteaux du Layon and Savennières I have previously tasted from the same producer.
William Fèvre Chile, Espino Cabernet Sauvignon, Pirque, Maipo Valley, Chile, 2011.
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, aged in oak barriques, 13% alcohol.
Bin end reduced from £10.95 to £7.11.
Appearance: Deep garnet, clear, good legs.
Nose: Intense nose of predominantly red fruits.
Palate: Sour cherry dominates in this fruit forward Bordeaux blend. Medium tannin, and sweetness with sufficient acidity to give focus. Well balanced and surprisingly elegant with medium length finish. Complexity added by herbal, vanilla and cedar notes.
Conclusion: A good quality wine, ready to drink and great value for money. This was also a hit with the rest of the family (not always an easy task).
Score 89/100 (DT)
Both wines were purchased from Berry Brothers Basingstoke store.