Wine Review: Zevenwacht “The Tin Mine” White Blend
Region: Polkadraai Hills, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Grape: 41% Chenin Blanc, 37% Chardonnay, 9% Roussanne, 9% Viognier, 4% Semillon
Zevenwacht’s “Tin Mine”, out of Stellenbosch, South Africa, is perfect for those looking for an adventurous, other-worldly white wine. Not to be too wordy here, but when people describe a wine as “ethereal”, this is about as close as I have gotten to that in the $15-$20 range of white wine. With it being under $20, it’s a steal. Zevernwacht’s “Tin Mine” has all of the tasty funk and spunk associated with South African wine along with plenty of fruit, floral, and earthy notes to balance it out. I can’t stress enough how tasty and immersing this bottle is, and the price only makes it all the more better.
The winery and land around it have a fairly extensive history, but the current owners have only been managing it since 1992. The majority of the grapes used for their wine come from their 450-hectare estate, also referred to as “Zevenrivieren Farm” which overlooks the “Helshoogte” Pass. They place a lot of importance on sustainability and protecting the environment through a variety of means.
Finally, where else are you going to find such an unusual and interesting blend of white grapes such as this? Vouvray meets Burgundy with some nice compliments of the Rhone and Bordeaux – if anything, the unique blend is the only excuse you need to try this. After you try it, you will realize that it’s not just a unique blend of white grapes, but a unique blend done and cared for extremely well.
Nose & Tongue
This bottle seemed to have lots of contradictions and just didn’t make sense at times in my head, but all in the best way possible.
On the nose, the Tin Mine starts out floral and earthy with a funky “greenness” to it. Then it gives way to bright and refreshing fruits like pineapple, lemon, and honey. Finally, it gives off an aroma that I can only describe as being like an old-world red from France or Spain.
The notes on the tongue follow from the nose fairly well. The first thing I noticed was a floral and earthy undertone complimented by notes of pineapple, lemon, and honey. Apparently, I tasted some sort of orange note as well, which I don’t recall having found in other wines (at least yet). Just like with the old-world red aromas, this bottle shared general characteristics in taste and mouthfeel as you would get with red wine. I believe this was due to there being a small amount of tannin, which only added to the experience.
This is where it got a little contradictory and confusing at first. As the wine opens up, there is a nice, indulgent creaminess and richness. It’s not done in such a way that it’s over-extracted or anything, though, as it just makes for a great drinking experience. Then, there is a refreshing and awakening crispness and acidity that balances out the rich creaminess. On top of that, there are just a variety of aromas and notes that you wouldn’t expect to find together, but here they are. For the last time, let me tell you, that all of these funky, tasty notes and aromas come together for a beautiful experience.