Ernie Els Big Easy Chenin Blanc
The 2017 Big Easy Chenin Blanc is loaded with ripe mandarin and lime on the nose, leading to notes of early spring jasmine and cling peaches. The tropical palate is richly textured with hints of wild herbs and Indian spice, adding complexity and good depth. It is medium-bodied and unhindered by oak giving a lively fruit structure and soft and easy finish. 100% Chenin Blanc
IN THE VINEYARD Challenging conditions led to a reduced wine grape crop for South African producers in 2017, but grapes were healthy and concentrated flavours promise good wines. The weather was very warm, especially from the end of October towards the end of January, which restricted the growth and constituted lower bunch masses and smaller berries. However, the dry conditions led to the vineyards and grapes being very healthy overall. Smaller berries led to more concentrated colour and flavour on the positive side and good wines are expected from the 2016 harvest. Good reserves were accumulated during the post-harvest period (April and May), after which leaf fall occurred mostly at the right time. The winter started off late in most of the regions but the weather conditions were cold enough to break dormancy. Spring came on time and the weather conditions were ideal which led to good, even bud burst. The harvest period started a week early due to the warmer weather and it ended about two weeks earlier. The white wines from the 2016 vintage appear astoundingly good, with great structure and good flavours.
ABOUT THE HARVEST: The Chenin Blanc grapes were harvested from individually selected, low yielding bush and trellised vines from Stellenbosch and Paarl. The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of early morning.
HARVEST DATES: February & March 2017. 23.0° Brix average sugar at harvest.
IN THE CELLAR: Production: 5666 x 6 x 750ml cases
Sustainability Initiative: I.P.W. (Integrated Production of Wine) Certified
ON THE SORTING TABLE: all excess stalks and inferior berries were carefully removed. Grape bunches were gently de-stemmed with a de-stalker and lightly crushed. The wine was settled overnight and the sediment racked off the following day. Fermentation took place at low temperatures (12-14°C) in stainless steel tanks with a combination of yeasts, over a two week period. Working very reductively in the cellar after both crushing and de-stemming, post fermentation lees contact was maintained for two months with weekly stirring of the lees before racking and stabilization prior to bottling.
This wine is crafted in a fresh style without any oak influence