Wine Reviews: Kanu Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2009

My favorite Chenin Blanc for the last 5 years…

 

Kanu Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2009 – Wine of Origin Stellenbosch

Looking like pale yellow sunlight-in-a-glass, Kanu Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2009 reveals lifted aromas of lime, peach, apricot, and mineral met in mid-air by the pure, precise scent of lemon peel and sweet almond.  On the palate, a thunderstorm of lime precedes a fast grip of minerality and a drive-by shot of almond, followed by a soothing balm of peach and apricot.  Walking a fine, perfectly balanced line between fruitiness and acidity, this wine is as fresh and edgy as a blind date with your best friend’s ex.

Food Pairing Suggestions for Kanu Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2009 :

This crisp white wine, while is has suggestions of a plump full-bodiedness in the texture, shows delicacy of flavor and is taking a lingering walk on the lighter side of life…so I would suggest sticking to lighter foods as base ingredients – fish, shellfish, chicken, cream-based pastas, vegetarian dishes and cheeses. 

I would love to pair this wine with Pecan-Crusted Chicken glazed with Dijon Mustard-Cream Sauce and Gruyere Cheese.  This chicken and wine are a good fit on texture, the pecans will add a bridge flavor to the subtle nuttiness in the wine, and the crisp lemon-like acidity in the wine will cut through the richness of the creamy sauce and the cheese. 

I would also relish this wine served alongside Grilled Salmon with Jalapeno-Mango Mojo.  Once again, we have a texture match, but the flavors in this meet-up do a different kind of dance. The subtle sweetness in the wine would cool the zing of jalapeno heat in a hurry, and the sweet mango mojo will be matched by sweet fruit in the wine, bringing forward the fruit flavors of the wine while relaxing its sweetness.  

As a tip of the hat to the legendary cuisine of South Africa, I would match this wine with Grilled Shrimp with Chakalaka, a spicy, slow-cooked blend of tomatoes, chilies, onion, and garlic.  This wine has the fruit, the acidity, and the crisp, fresh coolness to cut through the heat of the chakalaka and the let sweet, savory saltiness of the shrimp shine through. 

On a different note, if today brings on a balmy afternoon, I might just sip this wine by itself; with my toes in the pool, a close eye on the kids, an even closer eye on my anh (adorable new husband)…that’s always a perfect match!

If you would like more information on Chenin Blanc, click here for my Chenin Blanc Cheat Sheet!