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Suggested food matches:
Prawn and avocado salad in a lemony dressing
Pan-fried white fish with garlicy spinach
Smoked salmon and crème fraîche
Slow-cooked pulled pork
Try it with:
Intellego Chenin Blanc 2019
Swartland, South Africa
Grape: 100% Chenin Blanc
Intellego are part of the exciting new wave of South Africa winemakers based in Swartland alongside the likes of Johan Meyer of Mother Rock and Craig Hawkins of Testalonga. Winemaker/founder: Jurgen Gouws worked with Eben Sadie for a vintage in Spain (at Terroir Al Limit in Priorat) and also South Africa. He did further stints in France (at Matassa with Tom Lubbe, Stephane Ogier, Roc d’Anglade) and in New Zealand and Russia (where he made the premium wines for a big winery during 2008 and 2009). Subsequently, he worked for 4 years at Lammershoek with Craig Hawkins, but since January 2015 has solely concentrated on Intellego and renting vineyards for his project.
Intellego’s true passion is the real work that happens in the vineyard with a hands-on approach, understanding seasonal influences and adjusting based on constant observation of the terroir.
A big aim is to create optimum soil conditions through organic practises where the vines will be nurtured for an indefinite period of time, creating conditions for each block to have their own individual character. We grow grapes in an environment that is beneficial to the plant and its roots in this Mediterranean like climate.
The Swartland begins roughly 30 miles north of Cape Town and consists of the regions between the towns of Malmesbury in the south, Darling in the west, Piketberg in the north and the Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel in the east. The name Swartland is thought to have come indigenous vegetation, called Renosterbos or "rhino bush." After the rains and in the summer months, these bushes take on a very dark appearance. Thus, the early Dutch settlers called the area “Het Zwarte Land” (The black land). The soil types vary greatly in the region and are derived from Malmsbury shales, Bokkeveld shale and Cape granite. Decomposed granite soils are associated with Paardeberg mountain and the shale and schist soils with Kasteelberg mountain. Deep, well-drained reddish-brown soils near Malmsbury are also highly regarded. The climate is mostly hot, Mediterranean, but altitude has a moderating influence as does proximity to the Atlantic in the western part of the region.
Closer to the Atlantic ocean and on a hill so this parcel get a constant breeze in the afternoon but lower in rainfall than the other parcels. A blend of two parcels, a combination of granite and sandstone sites in the Paardeberg and Swartland appellations. The bush vines on the sandstone site were planted in 1961 and make up 30% of the final blend. The grapes are sourced from different sites and he works closely with the farmers ensuring the fruit is expressive of this region. Jurgen has a particular affinity for some of the older Chenin Blanc bush vines in South Africa and not afraid to push the boundaries of texture.
The grapes are hand-harvested and pressed whole bunch straight into a mixture of neutral French barriques and puncheons. They age 10 months on the gross lees and racked only once two days before bottling. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered.