Thistle & Weed
100% Chenin Blanc
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Organic and unfiltered
Viticulturist: Etienne Terblance
Winemaker: Stephanie Wild
Shimmy shimmy shiny gold. My nose is filled with an early hint of vanilla, then citrus scents of lemon. persimmon, blood orange, and light grapefruit (ie IPA). There’s also super ripe cucumber, pine, and some salty (not sexy, wiggle that moustache) thyme. Kicking back apricot, melon, pears, honeysuckle, citrus tang of lemon and mandarin orange, white pepper, and a little wax yet no wane.
Pairs w Cheez-It’s: more smooth less tang
Etienne Terblance and Stephanie Wild both come from wine in their life. Young Etienne helped out in his parents’ seaside restaurant and then took off for school and received a Masters degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Montpellier SupAgro and a PhD in Viticulture from Stellenbosch University. Stephanie’s history is little different. Her grandfather was the well known Niel Joubert, founder of the Stellenbosch Wine Route. She also holds a Masters from Stellenbosch University in Viticulture and Oenology, and everywhere I google, I see her on lists for top South African women winemakers, and top winemakers in general. Often I write about power teams like this and they are married couples but in this case, they’re friends. Their combined knowledge, experience and expertise has led them to pick the perfect spots for their vineyards, like the one for this Chenin Blanc. Duwweltjie vineyard named (fondly or maybe not so fondly) after the plant that translates to Devil’s thorns, that can puncture anything from shoes to rubber tires, etc and generally be a real pain in the ass. Just check out the label. Well, that annoyance is worth it to get to these 65 or so year old vines. I’d gladly be willing to take a wander through these plants just to get a case of these beauts.
Sidenote: as I mentioned before they are not a couple but it warms my heart to see on the site that they give shout outs to their families. Etienne is a father to Elmie (human), Ben (canine) and husband to Lizanda. Stephanie is wife to Kannas, and mother to Frances (human) and Khalessi & Khumba (canines). Reading this put a smile on my face.
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