{wine} A celebration of an exceptional harvest: Stellenbosch Hills’ Kastanjeberg 2020

Uncorking a bottle of Stellenbosch Hills Kastanjeberg Chenin Blanc 2020 is a celebration in all senses of the word – a celebration of terroir, of excellence, of true craftsmanship and of exceptional harvests.

Introduction

When an elegant bottle of Stellenbosch Hills’ newly released and limited Kastanjeberg Chenin Blanc 2020 landed at my door, I knew it needed to be celebrated in true Little Hedonist style.

Forming part of the top tier wine range, “Sense of Place,”  Kastanjeberg is a true gift to wine connoisseurs, because it offers an insight in the winemaker’s selection and individual vineyard components. The underpinning connection to the soil, nature and earth elements are all beautifully visible throughout the design and the content of these limited release bottles.

Adorned in a cream and gold jacket, circled in a hand-drawn illustration of the Cape Chestnut tree’s delicate flower, it was truly a stunning bottle to hold. A dark wax seal held the promise of a remarkable dinner companion, and I simply couldn’t wait to reveal all that waited below.

Click here for Sam Linsell’s Saagwala – (chicken with spinach curry) recipe!

Background

The exciting second vintage of a limited-edition Stellenbosch wine only made in years of exceptional harvests has just been released. The Sense of Place Kastanjeberg 2020 is the flagship wooded, single-vineyard Chenin Blanc made by Stellenbosch Hills.

The 2020 vintage Kastanjeberg follows on the 2017, its predecessor and the first of range that was showered with glowing reviews.

In fact, the wine so impressed Diners Club wine judges that it included Stellenbosch Hills winemaker James Ochse as a finalist for the 2019 Diners Club Young Winemaker Award.

The range also includes a glorious Cape Blend called Suikerboschrand, the Anna Christina Cap Classique and La Serena aperitif (press release).

Stellenbosch Hills Kastanjeberg Chenin Blanc 2020

The name Kastanjeberg is derived from the Cape Chestnut or Calodendrum capense trees that thrived at the Cape in the early 1800s.

Tasting notes:  Rich, complex and displays effusive aromas of citrus, sweet melon, pear fruit, honeysuckle, violets and vanilla oak spice. On the palate, the full-bodied wine erupts with pear and peach flavours combined with hints of vanilla and almonds.
In the vineyard:   Single vineyard Chenin Blanc
In the cellar:  Only 2 700 bottles were produced.
Cellaring potential: Five to ten years. 
Awards and accolades:
WineMag.co.za: 90/100 points.
Medal winner at Veritas 2019, IWSC 2019 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards 2020 and Vitis Vinifera 2020
Received four stars in the 2020 and 2021 Platter’s guide
Named Grand Cru National Champion Best in Class and Top 100 at the NWC/Top 100 SA Wines 2020.
Cellar door price:  approx. R295 per bottle and is available from the winery and selected boutique wine stores, as well as online through the Stellenbosch Hills website.

A classic custard affair

Echoeing the golden hues of both bottle and wine, I decided to swing my food pairing to a winter classic sweet: voluptuous cream-cracker custard slices, topped with a bright and seasonal lemon drizzle.

I haven’t had these in many years, and as I rolled a glass of Kastanjeberg against the afternoon light, I became more and more taken by the combination. Wanting to play on the vanilla oak and citrus undertones, I had to dig deep to find the classic recipe; the one I grew up with, and were treated to on a Sunday afernoon. The one where you carefully and methodically layer rows of Cream-Crackers in a glass dish, enveloping them in a thick, vanilla-infused custard. Another layer of flavour-absorbing crackers and a glossy lemon drizzle before it settles down in the fridge.

I enjoyed another glass of Kastanjeberg whilst I impatiently waited on my custard to set. Even though I was eager to pair the wine to the layers of rich custard, I was simultaneously swooning in the arms of this aromatic wooded Chenin Blanc. The slight oaked finish was offset against the crisp, fruity nose, all harmonising in a mellow, full-mouth experience with a rich, enticing finish.

Long after I’ve lapped out my custard plate with my finger, I wanted to celebrate this wine with more. More food, more people, more glasses, more chances. Outstandingly food friendly, I wanted to pour Kastanjeberg with spicy food, with summer salads, with autumn heart-warming stews, with winter puddings and bright pops of hors d’oeuvres. A wine like this should be celebrated at every opportunity, in every possible way.

In conclusion

Congratulations to Stellenbosch Hills on a superb addition to the South African Chenin Blanc scene with this generously rewarding bottle of Kastanjeberg 2020. Cheers to many more exceptional harvests and may every avid wine drinker get the chance to taste Kastanjeberg at least once, if not more!

*I received this product before the current lockdown restrictions came into law.

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *