‘Icon‘, ‘cult‘ and ‘famous‘ are just a few of the descriptors used for Ginny Povall’s under-the-radar Botanica Mary Delany Chenin Blanc. The 2017, from arguably our finest white vintage to date, has just been released and is an extraordinary wine having received its 7th Platter’s 5-star rating since its 2009 debut. A wine to take note of!
‘From the magical Citrusdal Mountain ward, the Botanica Mary Delany Chenin Blanc should demand the same cult status as anything else from there.’ – Christian Eedes
Within the Citrusdal Mountain ward lies our very own ‘Grand Cru’ Chenin Blanc site. The amazing ‘Skurfberg’ is home to SA’s finest Chenin Blancs – the Alheit Vineyards Makstok and Huilkrans, Sadie Family Skurfberg, Anthonij Rupert Van Lill & Visser and the ‘quietly famous’ Botanica Mary Delany. This is certainly our most profound Chenin terroir.
The rise of Chenin Blanc in SA has seen many incredible releases but the second Botanica Untitled No1 release from the stellar 2017 vintage is a true unicorn wine. It is vinified from Joshua Visser’s 60-year-old vineyard, the same source as the highly-acclaimed Alheit Vineyards Huilkrans, and this unique site produces a wine distinctly different from the Mary Delany. It is more gritty and powerful. We secured a minute allocation so we must limit this to 3 bottles per person.
Botanica, Mary Delany Chenin Blanc 2017
With 7 maximum ratings since debut 2009, this now richly deserves SA icon status. Once again sourced from the venerable high-altitude Citrusdal mountain vines, 50% old-oaked for silky smoothness, 2017 abounds with pear, guava, citrus and stonefruit, yet all its concentrated complexity remains pure, focused, supremely elegant. – Platter’s Guide 2019, 95/100
The characterful Henk Laing supplies the grapes for this world class Chenin Blanc from Citrusdal Mountain. Focused, pithy, taut and intense, with very subtle oak, pear and Braeburn apple and an incredible, lip-smacking mineral core. Drink: 2019-2028. – Tim Atkin MW, 96/100
The 2017 The Mary Delany Collection Chenin Blanc is 50% matured in 400-liter barrels and the remainder in stainless steel for nine months. It has a pretty, understated bouquet of green apple, pear, white flowers and just a faint hint of patisserie. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity and superb tension, and quite minerally in style. The fresh, steely finish has just the right amount of salinity to beckon you back for more. Superb. – Neal Martin, 92/100
Crackerjack. Citrus, peach and apple plus just a hint of leesy complexity on the nose. Rich and full but balanced – concentrated fruit, tangy acidity and a gently savoury finish. Layers and layers of flavour. – Christian Eedes, 95/100
Botanica, Untitled No1 Chenin Blanc 2017
Sourced from superstar grower Joshua Visser, it’s a focused, intense, chiselled, fennel-scented Chenin from sandstone soils on Citrusdal Mountain that’s mealy, complex and incredibly long. Drink: 2019-2028. – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100
The 2017 The Mary Delany Collection Untitled #1 is pure Chenin Blanc from the Citrusdal Mountains and saw no new wood. It has a fresh nose of Conference pear and red apple mixed with a touch of gooseberry and beeswax. The palate is well balanced, with a lovely, pure pear and gooseberry opening tinged with black currant leaf. I admire the tension and freshness of this Chenin Blanc, and it displays good weight and intensity toward the finish. Very fine. – Neal Martin, 91/100