Houmoed Chenin Blanc 2013

Wine Vitals:

Houmoed Tasting NoteMooiplaas Houmoed Chenin Blanc 2013


Winery: Mooiplaas
Wine: Houmoed Chenin Blanc
Vintage: 2013
Varietals: 100% Chenin blanc
Tasting Notes:
Nose:  Rich, tropical notes, butterscotch with hints of ripe raisin-ey botrytis notes.
Palate: Rich with restraint of fruit. The palate has oodles of yellow stone fruit and softly textured.
Appearance: Intense appearance for a white wine, yellow – green core with high viscosity
Pairing: Game fish , cheese and poultry
W.O. Stellenbosch, Bottelary Hills
Style: Shows a style of Chenin blanc that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world; rich and dense with lovely balance. Distinct in its style and truly a South African beauty.
Decant: Not needed 
Serving Temp: Serve and keep it cold, let it warm up and develop in the glass
Whodunit: Louis Roos, cellarmaster at Mooiplaas works closely with his cousin and assistant winemaker Dirk (who incidentally made the red wine in this month’s selection…coincidence?).  When you taste this wine, it might not be all too surprising to you to find out that Louis is a devout Bonsai enthusiast. When he isn’t pruning tiny trees, or medium sized vines, he also enjoys bird-watching, reading and walking his two dogs. We don’t know him so well but all of this seems to shine through in the Houmoed Chenin.

 Louis’ high school aptitude test had him pinned as a Vet.

Not just any old farm: Notably, Mooiplaas is operated as a Trust and very involved in conservancy efforts.   (Not all Roos’s are automatically hired ;), they actually do have to interview for the job). On a more serious note, Mooiplaas is also a Private Nature Reserve situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of only six plant kingdoms in the world. Although it is the smallest, the Cape Floral Kingdom is the richest plant kingdom, with 9600 plant species – more than in the United Kingdom’s Kindgom!  Quoting UNESCO: “The Cape Floral Region represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa, but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. Its plant species diversity, density and endemism are among the highest worldwide, and it has been identified as one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hot-spots.

 In 1995, Tielman and his wife Janine registered the Mooiplaas Private Nature Reserve on the estate, dedicating it to the conservation of endangered fynbos species. Tielman is chairman of the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy of which the Mooiplaas nature reserve forms part. The whole area falls within the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, which forms part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Why we picked it: Dryland. Stop. Bushvines.   Stop. Chenin. Stop. Words we would have wanted to see in a telegraph back in the days of telegraphs.   Looking into the future probably the future of SA’s global wine presence and certainly the playground of some of today’s great like Eben Sadie. Watch the Chenin space. The varietal is about as diverse as it gets, when working with old vineyards as with this wine, the grapes decide what it wants to be. We found this intriguing and beautifully sexy.
Happy Experiment: The tight knit Roos clan have been farming Mooiplaas for many a moon; although they are known for good value wines, this Chenin is an experimental foray into using their heritage old vine blocks as a stand-alone rather than letting this unique juice get absorbed into large blends. We, for one, are thankful that they took that leap.


All grown on the Roos farm, called Mooiplaas. This Chenin stems exclusively from a 2 hectare single eponymous vineyard. The Houmoed block was planted by the Roos grandfather in 1969 as dryland bushvines. Soils of the Bottelary are mostly decomposed Table Mountain sandstone, the soils are rough and puts serious pressure on vineyards to survive, those that do, give beautifully textured wines.
Price:   R 140 per bottle / R840 per case of 6

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