The Smiley NV Chenin Blanc V5 is our fifth release of our multi-vintage Chenin Blend. Wines for this version were selected from four different vintages spanning 2016-2019. The wine is made from fruit sourced from multiple parcels on the granitic Paardeberg terroirs of the Swartland – both from exposed and more sheltered sites. The fruit is all naturally fermented with nothing added. Fermentation takes place in a combination of seasoned oak barrels and stainless steel tank. Post fermentation the wines are tasted and selected for ageing in a wide variety of different styles inspired by the white wines of the Jura and Jerez. Small batches are selected for biological aging under a naturally occurring flor yeast and others for Madeira style ageing, by placing the barrels in the sun, to create characterful wines for the final blend. A portion of the blend is skin-contact fermentation ranging from anywhere between 10-14 days.
Once a year we draw from the various vintages of matured wines to blend with the fresh wine for bottling as the Smiley release. After fermentation is completed of the current vintage, various wines are tasted and selected for blending into the Smiley whilst others are held back for future releases. Originally conceived as a bottling to hold more experimental parts of Silwervis Chenin, the Smiley White has evolved been into a wine with it’s own identity. Open ended and experimental yet anchored to a core ideal and style. 14 different batches of wine were blended into making the V5.
The nose presents with forward Chenin Blanc citrus notes of lemon pith with mineral notes of seashell, ocean mist, kelp, iodine and rock pool. There are hints of waxy macadamia and toasted almond nuts bringing forward the flor and Madeirised components.
The palate is fresh, taut yet and zesty. Upfront the minerality of sea shells and Maldon salt are balanced with the liveliness of lemon zest and quince. The palate is rounded off with the richness of raw almonds. The texture is mouth-coating with a finish of tart, fresh lemon, orange peel and cardamom pods.
Drink now until 2030. Best paired with seafood, white meat, game bird, fresh salads, sushi and tapas style meals of olives, charcuterie, pickled fish and strong, hard cheeses. Decanting is suggested prior to enjoying, or open the bottle and watch the wine evolve over 3-4 days.