The Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 is part of The Den line of wines from the family-owned Painted Wolf Winery of Swartland, South Africa. The Den is their line of every day easy to drink wines.The name Painted Wolf is a reference to the endangered indigenous wild dogs that once roamed freely. A major part of the winery's mission is to raise money to help these animals survive. These wines are also vegan-friendly and certified sustainably farmed and produced.Chenin Blanc was originally found in the Loire Valley and the Languedoc regions of France. Today, South Africa is the largest producer of Chenin Blanc and accounts for 30% of the world's Chenin wines.Chenin Blanc is similar to Chardonnay in that it can be produced successfully with many styles of winemaking. With can be made from young, bright, crisp wines to heavily oaked age-worthy wines to outstanding Sparkling wines. That may be the major reason for Chenin Blanc not being on White wine rotation.Modern wine drinkers have figured out the code to Chardonnay; if it has a reference to butter, it is a well oaked Chard. They know Kendall-Jackson's and Wente's house styles, there are clues in the marketing that let you know what to expect.Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 may well be a mystery to the average wine drinker. Like many other wine enthusiasts, I look forward to mystery wine, but I do not think it helps sales.South Africa is attempting to educate wine folks on the differences between the various SA wine regions. So, if you find a South African Chenin Blanc that you enjoy, keep a mental note of the area because that will go a long way to finding equally enjoyable wine.The grapes for the Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 came from contracted vineyards of a local wine estate. This Chenin was fermented in stainless steel tanks. A small portion of the wine was aged in an oak barrel, the rest aged in stainless steel. The oak-aged Chenin Blanc was added back in during the blending stage.Like a wine from the 2019 vintage, the Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 is a young wine intended to be consumed in the first year to two of release. The alcohol content is 13%.Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 Tasting NotesThe color is a clear pale golden yellow. The nose is a stew of lemon, apple, melon, peach, and pear, all with a floral background. The Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 is a bright wine of medium weight and full of flavor.It starts with juicy apple, lime, pink lemonade, dried apricot, and a sharp slap of spice. The mid-palate offers just a whiff of butter, a nutty, salty sensation, melon, and muted tangerine.The acidity is excellent; it gives the wine length and entices you to take another sip. The addition of the small portion of oak-aged Chenin Blanc kicks this wine up to the next level. It adds weight and complexity to an already tasty wine.The SummaryThe Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc 2019 tastes great, period.I do not drink enough Chenin Blanc, mainly because I do not always head to the South African or Loire Valley section of the local wine shops.I do not know if I can pick a favorite from, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chenin Blanc when it comes to White wine.Not to self, drink more Chenin Blanc in 2021.One of the reasons that Chenin Blanc can skip your mind is because the US West Coast wines seldom feature Chenin Blanc.I have heard that the Chenin Blanc wines from the Clarksburg AVA (south of Napa, west of Lodi) have great potential, so hopefully, there is a Chenin Blanc awakening on the horizon.
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