Barton Estate Chenin Blanc displays aromas of pears with hints of guava and honeyed notes. This is an attractive crisp, full-flavoured Chenin Blanc with a fresh palate of pears and tropical fruits. Overall this Barton Estate Chenin Blanc vintage is refreshing with excellent length; it has some mineral complexity, which is normally associated with higher priced Chenin Blanc’s.
Chenin Blanc wines have the potential to age very gracefully and remain fresh and very drinkable. This wine is a case in point, and it is beautifully balanced so do not overlook Chenin Blanc 2017, it is drinking as well as our other South African wines from both the 2018 and 2019 vintages.
The Chenin Blanc vines are the oldest in the vineyard at around 35- 40 years old, and the grapes are hand-picked in the cool of the early morning. After fermentation, the wine is left on the lees for 4 months before racking and bottling, so the wine is very much ready to drink when released.
Barton’s vineyards are at 34 degrees South in the Bot River area on the cooler south slopes of the Kogelberg hills, where the summer heat is reduced by Atlantic breezes from Walker Bay, just 11 miles away. This geography helps to provide a frost-free and moderately cool climate during the all important setting and ripening period. In addition this cool, frost free climate and southerly aspect gives rise to a slow and extended grape ripening period thus lending itself to the production of very good wines. Temperatures in the growing season average between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius. The dominant soil formation is gravely coarse sand with ferrous-quartzite that overlies soft weathered sandstone with clay patches. The soils induce low to moderate vigour with resultant low yields and concentration of flavour.
The Estate was bought by the Neil family in 2001 with just 6 hectares of Chenin Blanc vines. The first Barton wine was the Chenin Blanc 2003 and in 2006 construction of Barton’s cellar commenced and the tasting room opened in early 2007. The cellar was fully operational for the 2008 harvest. The vineyard now consists of 36 hectares of vines and these are outnumbered by fynbos, olive trees and lavender bushes, together with some very nice guest accommodation. The endangered Blue Crane featured on the label has made its home in the Barton Estate.
Kobie Viljoen is Barton Estate’s consultant wine maker; he was educated at the Agricultural College of Elsenburg in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. He obtained a Diploma in Cellar Technology and distinguished himself as one of the top students in his class. His twenty year experience has been attained working in top South African cellars.
“Forward fruit and friendly aromas and flavours, mostly tending to the tropical side of things. It is juicy and impeccably balanced, with some real substance to it.” Platters Wine South African Guide 2019