Today, a humble South African Chenin Blanc did battle with THE GARCLICKIEST PESTO IN THE WORLD. A meal so astoundingly garlic-laced that my colleagues tomorrow will be fucking reeling at the stench of it off me.
Anyway — how did our plucky Chenin Blanc stand up to it all? Not too badly, really. I mean, it fizzes a bit in the gob (in protest, I guess), but the acidity and body mean that it’s not utterly overwhelmed. A respectable performance.
And the wine itself (when experienced outside the blast radius of the garlic)? Perfectly nice. There’s a slight veginess to the smell that I’m not totally wild about: it’s not the classiest honker, to be honest. But absolutely fine. Some (not unpleasant) soap and flowers wafting around there.
Taste-wise, again, it’s perfectly acceptable. That vegetable quality is there (though, I should emphasise, in the background). Otherwise, there’s a homely cheniny podginess to it — fullfruited, syrupy, yet acidic. A wine that’s got some chub, and (perhaps) is wearing clothes ever so slightly too tight for it.
So what do I think? Acceptable. And, yeah, it’s fairly cheap (indeed, bloody cheap, if you pick it up before 2 May as part of Majestic’s 20% off South Africa deal)
But I love Chenin Blanc. And this doesn’t really zing and sparkle in the way the grape can. Most of all, I’d like it to be fresher. And to lose that slight ponk of compost.
Then again, given the amount of near-raw garlic in me right now, I’m scarcely in a position to talk.
Price £5.99 at Majestic (currently £4.79 if bought with another South African bottle — until 2 May)