A string of Platter’s 5-star accolades proves that Attie Louw of Opstal knows a thing or two about producing top-end Chenin Blanc. When we asked the price of the newly released 2017 Opstal Chenin Blanc, we knew we were on to a winner! It could easily sell for double the price and has fast become a staff favourite.
While partially sourced from their famous Carl Everson vineyard, most of the grapes come from the farm’s highest parcels which lie 340m above sea level against the Badsberg mountains. The winemaking is minimalist. Focusing on freshness, the grapes are picked early and then raised in large foudres and stainless steel tanks. This is not, however, a simple smash and grab wine. It is nuanced and, as it opens up, it expresses more finery and detail.
Opstal is best known for the Carl Everson Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc; their much-awarded expression of a 36-year-old single vineyard in the Slanghoek Valley. The latest 2017 release is a touch tighter and more restrained than previous vintages, however, it still has the trademark fruit weight and depth. Once again, as one of the finest wines from the Breedekloof Valley, it is an absolute steal.
Opstal, Chenin Blanc 2017
Fresh and clean to start, it is vibrant with a promise of weighty fruit to follow. Picked a little earlier, it celebrates freshness over concentration. Mostly sourced from the highest, and cooler, Opstal vineyards planted in 1997. The crisp fruit evolves in the glass to showcase further layers and complexity. Can be enjoyed as is, on its own, or served at the table. The nuanced, pure fruit makes it a steal at this price. – James Pietersen (October 2018)
Opstal, Carl Everson Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2017
Located on the cooler Slanghoek side of the Breedekloof region, this spontaneously fermented Chenin Blanc comes from a 1982 block. Rich, yet well balanced with the subtle oak usage that’s typical of the Opstal style. Drink: 2019 – 2025. – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100