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2021 EXPERIMENTAL CHENIN BLANC, Minimalist Wines. South Africa

Bin:  98

Alcohol percentage:  13%

Grape variety:

100% Chenin Blanc


Sam Lambson – owner/winemaker of Minimalist Wines – is one of the bright young stars of the Cape wine scene. Sam grew up in Johannesburg with a family who had no winemaking background. The turning point came after tasting a bottle of Jamet Côte-Rôtie 1998, a wine that has inspired his winemaking path ever since.

He had considered both chemical engineering and law at university, but instead went off to study winemaking in Stellenbosch. To help finance his course he worked in a wine shop in Stellenbosch and did harvests under Carl van de Merwe of De Morgenzon (2017) and Lukas van Loggerenberg (2018). Having developed a particular love (and following) for cool climate Syrah he took this as the foundation of his approach to winemaking from thereon – starting in 2019.

From a basic start he shared winemaking facilities in both 2020 and 2021, whilst also using the Monterosso cellars in Stellenbosch and Oneric in Elgin to store wine in tank and barrel. The plan is to open an urban wine cellar in the Woodstock district of Cape Town’s southern suburbs.


His Experimental Chenin is sourced from old bush vine fruit – with an average age of 35 years – in both Helderberg (fermented in used French oak barrels) and Voor Paardeberg (fermented in stainless steel). All the grapes were cooled overnight and whole bunch pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wines were then aged on lees over the winter before being blended and bottled.

Old Bridge rating:

This is a classically styled, dry, and savoury take on South Africa’s favourite white variety. Notes of sage and apple with a light touch of tropical fruits, lovely texture, and broad mouthfeel.

You can enjoy now but can equally age for another 1-2 years. Serve chilled but not too cold.


£18.95 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£17.96 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles