Babylonstoren “Candide” 2020 White Blend (Heritage LLC, SA)

Winery: Heritage LLC Babylonstoren (South Africa)
Vintage: 2020
Varietals: Chenin Blanc (45%)
Viognier (28.5%)
Chardonnay (16.5%)
Semillon (10%)

Believe it or not, this wine is actually the first I’ve ever tried from South Africa. Yes, I’ve heard about the celebrated Pinotage and Steen (which is actually Chenin Blanc) but I never had the chance to try one as many stores here don’t sell wines from the country. Fortunately I now work at a store that has a South African wine selection so I’m happy to say I have the opportunity.

Apparently Babylonstoren is a large wine farm-slash-tourist destination and we sell both a red and a white from them at the store. While stocking the SA section, one of my coworkers handed me this bottle and told me that the white wine is definitely a good introduction to South African white wines. The majority of it is Chenin Blanc and Viognier, with Chardonnay and Semillion rounding out the quartet. The nose is very promising, with citrus aromas, particularly lime zest, white tea and a hint of white flowers (hibiscus). The palate is strongly tropical. Bright flavors of papaya, melon and pineapple burst on the tongue, and the acidity is lively, providing some healthy contrast before fading into a nice finish with pear undertones. This wine is very food friendly, but it certainly can be enjoyed by itself, particularly on a summer day.

Not a bad porch pounder. Now to see if I can find a Pinotage…

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