This wine is brand new to me. It will surely become a summertime staple at the Waters residence. It is a light-bodied, vibrant purple, slightly sparkling red wine that is sure to catch the eye of any Ravens fan. It is produced from Aglianico and Piedirosso grapes in the Campagnia region in southern Italy. Think Lambrusco, but in the most flattering manner imaginable. When poured into your glass it forms a tantalizingly brilliant, lavender mousse. On the nose it has a violet scent. On the palate fresh, ripe berry flavors are abundant. The locals love it with pizza, and I share their enthusiasm! That is not to say one won’t reach for a chilled bottle out on the patio, deck, or veranda on a summer evening. I certainly expect to do it frequently!
Chris Boustred, the winemaker and a proprietor at Remhoogte Wine Estates is an extremely talented winemaker and even better human being. His Chenin Blanc is selected from 100% estate fruit. He produces two Chenin Blanc’s, Honeybunch” and “First Light”. Honeybunch is the first pick at harvest. His team is instructed to select only the golden, ripe bunches (clusters) of grapes that have had direct sun exposure throughout the growing season. These hand selected bunches are then taken to the cellar and sorted by hand, individually selecting the best grapes. As these are the ripest grapes, they develop a “honeyed” flavor and will stand up to a light, mostly neutral oak regiment. This produces a wine with a wonderful mouthfeel, ripe, rich fruit with honeyed notes and the typically mouthwatering acidity Chenin Blanc delivers. The result is, unequivocally, one of my most favorite white wines to enjoy in the summertime.
I enjoy it with grilled or pan seared scallops, pan sauteed soft shell crabs and most shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab). I highly encourage you to try this exceptional Chenin Blanc, whether you are more typically a chardonnay drinker or a fan of crisper, cleaner varietals like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. It is rich, elegant and possesses perfectly balanced acidity that will have you reflexively reaching for another glass! Enjoy!