The Skeleton Bay 2018 was our bestselling Chenin ever and the 2019 is a sensational follow-up. While the 2018 was beguiling and full-flavoured, the 2019 Rudi Schultz Skeleton Bay Chenin Blanc ups the ante with more refinement. It is a more nuanced and complex wine.
Absolutely delicious now, almost impossible not to drink in one sitting, but it does open up after a few days to show its true pedigree. Sourced mostly from a 65-year-old Paarl vineyard with a dash of Somerset West fruit, this naturally-fermented, old oak-raised Chenin is confounding in its complexity and long, refined length. It is only 12% alc. but spending 9 months on the lees added necessary fruit weight.
Rudi Schultz, who has been the winemaker at Thelema for more than two decades, thinks this wine should be selling for a lot more and we agree. However, with future releases set to be a 100% single-vineyard and old-vine registered, expect this to be your last chance to get this much wine for your money. This pre-release will be ready to ship as soon as lockdown has been lifted.
Rudi Schultz, Skeleton Bay Chenin Blanc 2019
The follow-up to our bestselling Chenin Blanc ever, the 2019 Skeleton Bay Chenin is startling in its complexity and, to our mind, it’s a step up on stellar 2018. Reigned in florals, white stone fruit, fresh-cut pear and mineral notes lead to an impressive palate of nuanced stone fruit, racy, delineated acidity and a long-lasting saline finish. Wow, what a finish! It offers so much flavour. The wine is utterly delicious now but it opens up brilliantly over a few days hinting at the pedigree of this classy 2019 Chenin. Sourced from two special vineyards, naturally fermented and raised in older oak, the wine is pure class. This is a testament to the incredible value that SA Chenin has to offer. – James Pietersen (May 2020)