Cousins Danie and Hugo are 5th generation growers with prime vineyards in the Swartland, Devon Valley and the very exciting Polkadraai ward in Stellenbosch. Great wine is made in the vineyards and they supply a roll-call of exceptional producers – names like Alheit Vineyards, Crystallum, Raats Family Wines, Thorne & Daughters, Mulderbosch & LeRiche to name but a few. Embodying the drive of the new generation Hugo and Danie decided not only to sell grapes and have other people make great wines from them but to make some wine too. So started Carinus Family Wines using their selection from their 100s hectares to focus on what works in each area.
Carinus Family Vineyards Polkadraai Chenin Blanc 2021
After whole bunch pressing the juice was moved to concrete eggs for fermentation and ageing which took ten months. The granitic soil and total absence of oak has given a pure but punchy wine which the boys think will be a perfect match for rich seafood dishes, Danie particularly loves the “nakedness” of the wine. He described it also as having a beautiful stony character with tinges of lime zest and magnolia flowers on the nose. The palate has perfect weight while the natural acidity liberally distributes flavours of lime sorbet, quince and green apple. This is stunning now but with its perfect balance pf pH (3.14) and acidity (6.6g/l) it will definitely be worth cellaring for those with patience.
Unlike the other wines from Danie & Hugo, the Polkadraai sees their friend Chris Alheit assist on winemaking duties.
“Displaying a broad and more approachable frame in youth, the 2021 Polkadraai Heuwels opens to a dusty mineral essence with considerably more weight and gravitas compared to the Rooidraai Chenin Blanc. On the palate, the wine shows a kiss of phenolic bitterness with a food-friendly note of marzipan before offering a weighted mouthfeel with delicate mineral tension that will last for years. The wine has a soft, nutty finish and lingering mineral essence. It’s a delightful, cerebral Chenin Blanc that has me coming back for a second sip.” 2023 – 2030
91 Points, Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate, Jul 2023