EP 842 South African Chenin Blanc Tasting

Gary explores this white wine, specifically from South Africa. Chenin Blanc, also known as Steen, can bring some great value to the table.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2008 Sizanani Chenin BlancSouth African Chenin Blanc
2008 Savanha SteenSouth African Chenin Blanc
2009 Teddy Hall Chenin BlancSouth African Chenin Blanc

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘This wine stinks, tastes like water with rocks and a little topsoil’

This is what GV is all about. Entertaining, opinionated and fast-paced. Love it

Tags: chenin blanc, review, South Africa, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • Dominic C.

    QotD: The name “Teddy Hall” sounds like one of those names I'd say in full either for my own amusement or to aggravate the guy which also happens to be for my own amusement as well.

    My palate has been going in weird places lately. Not so much on the old school [world] or new school [world] play but somewhere in between that has soft supple earth, stem, fruit play. Still developing my palate.

  • Beeper

    QOTD: You say Teddy Hall, I say Hatorade

  • Don Simpson

    MOTT!!! Great to hear you're okay.

  • YoungDave

    QOTD: Teddy Hall= sounds like the Frat guy who thinks he's the life of the house party, king of the keg stand, baron of beer pong (beirut), and a seducer of the ladies because he's notorious for slipping special K into everyone's drink…including mine the night before my first day of classes in my freshmen year of college. Damn Teddy Hall for the hangover and memory loss… damn Teddy Hall!!
    ***LOVE the greenness, and I've recently been diving into the GruV, and I'm drinking a VERY green sparkling Vouvray Brut tonight- coincidence!!

  • Dejan Panjicanin

    I ma Fruitmonster from Austria with roots in Croatia! :-)) Great show Gary!!

    Dejan Panjicanin

  • Thursday

    R.V. is an instant classic!
    I love chenin blanc… but haven't found many from South Africa that I would recommend or revisit.

    qotd: Teddy Hall sounds like a University building that needs to be rebuilt…
    qotd 2: I prefer veggie and earth over fruit… especially the cab franc bell peppers. But I don't care to drink straight V-8… I like some fruit fusion in the mix.

  • LaPrimaStephanie

    Teddy Hall makes me think of Annie Hall's brother. I don't really care for too much green in my wine. It needs to be balanced by some fruit. That being said, I'm not into the fruit monster either. Too bad these wines didn't show too well.

  • I think anything Teddy makes me think of Teddy Roosevelt. As for wine, and this is going to sound totally girly, I'm definitely a lover of the fruit.

  • Meh.

    QOTD 1: Ref

    QOTD 2: I like a mix of both, but you gotta have fruit over the green. I don't like overly vegetal wines, but love wines that are earthy or minerality based.

  • K4C3Y

    The only South African wine I've had was a Sauvignon Blanc that tasted like 2 day old moist grass clippings and spory dirt 🙁

    Q2: I like a granny smith, bell pepper, chile pepper crisp greenness, but any kind of cabbage-iness, tendency to celery or bitter greens would need to be an undertone to be tolerated.

  • JiminAtlanta

    I usually prefer white wines with fruit and acid. Green is not that appealing to me. Teddy Hall does not mean much to me. I know people named Hall, but not Teddy.

  • John_Kenneth_J

    I really like wines with green or vegetal aromas as much as ones with fruit, provided the quality is there.

  • dariakushmelyn

    Does that say LURKERS SUCK??

    First of all, give KWV Chenin Blanc from South Africa a try – light, simple, a good “porch wine”, as you said.

    Secondly, I do like green, vegetal whites. I'm a big fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, the green pepper whites. (Btw, I know you don't like oaked wines, but what do you think of the Oyster Bay chardonnay, which is what I'd call “lightly oaked”. It doesn't overpower, but it gives the chard some oomph. And I do love completely unoaked chardonnays, especially Canadian Niagara region ones.)

  • dariakushmelyn

    QOTD: I know EXACTLY what “Teddy Hall” reminds me of, “Denny Crane” from Boston Legal.

  • QOTD: “Steve Holt!” from Arrested Development (RIP)

  • sasha14

    With my limited wine-tasting experience, I can't say that I can recall ever having a green-tasting wine. But I suspect that I might like one, as the over-the-top fruitbomb wines tend to turn me off. You're going to make me go look for a green-tasting wine now. Damn you, Gary.

  • ewb

    Good work Gary.
    QOTD: Benny Hill

  • keithmiller

    That first wine was tooo funny GV…. way to go

  • Nik_B

    I've been drinking so much chenin blanc from South Africa for the last couple of years – almost always provides fantastic quality and value.

    The 'FMC' from Ken Forrester is excellent.

  • Mick Nesset

    Trashing the Sizanani was great… gives a better sense of perspective when every wine reviewed scores between the low 80s and 95. But if that was a 55 point wine, what would you be drinking to score in the 20s or 30s?

  • aaronmalcomnson

    Most Amazing Comment!!! I have ever seen in my ridiculously cool life of watching over 500 episodes of WLTV

  • payson07

    Love the Martha Stuart 'high 5-ing reference' with Savanha.

    QOTD: Teddy Hall to me = late night tv.

    I'm a fan of the green wines. Just got back from living in NZ and I'm a big fan of some (not all though) of their Sauv Blanc, so I like the golf course smell.

  • benfromboston


  • YoungDave

    Thanks for the comment! This means a lot, from one LOOOONG time viewer to another! I guess the funniest, most enjoyable and relatable comments are those that are TRUE!! Cheers, my friend!

  • QOTD: Archealogical hoax. Yeah, I'm a nerd.

    I like the vegetal flavors, but I have to say, I prefer the smoothness of the fruit…

  • jayhitek

    QOTD: Don't like them. Fruit monster all the way baby!

  • Weston3220

    qotd: a president

    I dont like Green Pepper Juice, I dont mind Veg notes but as long as its more Grass and not Green Peppers thats just gag reflex for me

  • Alistair

    Will bet you a lot of money Teddy Hall is made by someone who went to St Edmunds Hall, one of the colleges at Oxford University, nickname 'Teddy Hall'…famous for hairy-arsed rugby players back in the day, of which there are many in South Africa too!

  • Hi Gary–Greetings from Cape Town-Sorry to backtrack but have just watched Episode 842 on Chenin Blanc and I was rather surprised that you didn't mention the big movement in South Africa, namely Chenin Blanc produced from BUSH VINES as oppossed to those mass produced wines you had on offer for the tasting. I think your viewers could learn alot if you compared a tasting of Chenin's that are mass produced and compared them with Chenin's produced from Bush vines that are at least 40 years and older. If you can get your hands on a bottle of Adi Badenhorst (ex Rustenberg) new Chenin Blanc or Babylon Peak, Stark Conde or various others produced from Bush vines(Kleine Zalze is another good one) and of course the new kid on the block— Sadie family in the Swartland—you would really have a truely GOBSMACKING SHOW on your hands–just in time for the arrival of 2010. The only problem with all the wines that I mention is that they are produced in small quantities–so difficult for American consumers to get their hands on it–but then again, Americans are the biggest foreign buyers of our World Cup tickets, so at least they can try a few of these wines right here in South Africa whilst watching the world cup.

    Keep up the cracking show Gary—-LEGENDARY!


  • Anonymous

    Chenin Blanc was a very popular wine in California in the early 1970’s. It had all the fresh qualities you describe–an easy wine to like; a good picnic wine. It was reasonably priced and a big seller. The first wine I really liked was a Charles Krug Chenin Blanc. I prefer Chenin Blanc in the medium dry (slightly sweet) style because it seems to bring out the fruit. Some California wineries such as Chalone actually made it in a dry style and aged it in oak. When made this way, and when the wine was one or two years old, there was not a lot of difference in an oaky Chardonnay and a dry oaky Chenin Blanc. But, when the wines were 3 or 4 years old, there was a big difference. The Chenin Blanc had faded and was tired, while the Chardonnay had blossomed into a beautiful swan. Chenin Blanc is best made fresh and fruity, and enjoyed young. But, the wine boom in California has pushed Chenin Blanc into the background. Not many new wineries offer a Chenin Blanc anymore. Perhaps the Chenin Blanc vineyards have been ripped up and replanted to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier or something else that is hot now. But, I remember the California Chenin Blancs which were fresh, immediately likeable, and good.

  • Anonymous

    My experience with S.A. wines was similiar to Gary’s reaction when he tried the first wine. QOTD-President. Prefer fruit over veggies. http://www.winelx.com

  • I generally prefer vegetal wines to fruity wines–also a big fan of vegetal coffees (a la Kranky’s in Winston-Salem, NC). It’s odd that I like vegetal wines because I don’t like vegetables that much. But, by the same token, I guess you could say it’s odd that I like leathery wines since I don’t like to eat leather.

  • luca bercelli


    line of the day – ‘This wine stinks, tastes like water with rocks and a little topsoil’

    This is what GV is all about. Entertaining, opinionated and fast-paced. Love it


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