Malcolm Jolley finds a great value Chenin Blanc at Vintages…

Bruce Jack is one of the great characters in the wine world, who makes premium wines at The Drift Estate in the Overberg Highlands and accessible wines, sold around the world, with his namesake label. At a recent virtual tasting of South African Chenin Blanc wines, I was pleased to see one of his wines was in with the samples delivered. The wine showed well, with lots of peach and citrus fruit over fresh acidity. Here was a wine to wake up the palate before dinner; the sort of wine to keep around in case someone drops by the backyard. But what floored me and my fellow Zoom tasters was the price: here was an awful lot of wine for just $14.

The Jack Bruce Chenin Blanc 2020 ($13.95 | LCBO# 13356) is part of the last Vintages release, and is proof that South African wine can offer some of the best value for consumers in the world. I almost feel guilty buying bargain South African wines since the country’s producers had a particularly hard go of it under COVID lockdowns, and were banned from selling anything for a prolonged period last year, including exports. Now, they’re back and rebuilding their ties to the world, so it’s a pleasure to see wines like this one back on the shelves, and an opportunity to look forward and make a toast to better days for all of us around the world.