Wine of the Week: Zalze Chenin Blanc 2015

It’s Friday! Traditionally the day that we can all let our hair down and enjoy a little tipple…. Unless Dry January has taken you into it’s clutches and is forcing you to partake in a peppermint tea with dinner. I however have chosen not to make the dullest of months even duller and I am enjoying a sip every now and then. Admittedly my intake of wine and spirits is less than in December but that wouldn’t be hard as December is the month you’re encouraged to have a sherry, Baileys or wine at any given opportunity… And who minds?

Over the last few years, Alan and I have tried to keep alcohol consumption to the weekend… Well starting on a Friday night. And when you’re getting up super early on a Saturday morning to work, there’s a good reason not too drink too much… Ahem! But with the move to Bristol, our discipline went out the window and we encouraged each other to drink a little more often than we should have. With frequent stop-overs in London for work we used any excuse to open that Chablis we’d been saving or to try a new gin. But now, we are trying to put some order back in our lives which admittedly means you we to really enjoy that Friday night drink when it comes around.

So what to sip? My wine choices are often both seasonal and food orientated and this week I’ve been struck by the amount of daffodils that I’ve seen on my travels. Never in my 39 years have I ever seen daffs up in January. It’s pretty shocking and is forcing me into some weird type of seasonal jetlag where I think that it’s spring and that Easter is around the corner even though it’s only January. (Or maybe that’s because I keep seeing Cadbury’s egg shaped chocolate in many forms on the shelves of all the supermarkets.)

Anyway, my pallet wants to drink like it’s spring and with this in mind, I turn to one of my long term favourites: Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc. I first tasted this wine in 2008 on one of my many ‘Saturday Kitchen’ wine shoots and it soon became a firm favourite of mine. When a new vintage comes around I wonder if it’s going to be as good as the last, and Zalze rarely disappoints.

imageThe vintage currently on the shelves is the 2015. On the nose there’s a hint of tropical fruit and a squeeze of lime but where the wine really comes alive is on the pallet. There’s something about it’s appley freshness that’s really inviting and tangy. When the sun is out, and the daffs are too – there’s rarely a better wine to sip on a weekend lunchtime. Its minerality coupled with a dash of acidity means it’s great with foods that have a tiny bit of heat. But where this wine comes into it’s own is with a delicious pork
chop and salad or if you like white wine with your Sunday roast pork, this the wine for you. There’s a richness in it’s texture that can stand up to all the trimmings. Crackling and Zalze? Mmmmm! To be honest, anything that is normally complemented by apple will be great with this wine. But let’s not pretend that this wine needs food to be enjoyed. It really doesn’t.

Interestingly, I’ve just discovered a 2013 example in the wine rack so I’d be interested to see how it’s matured as the winemakers say that the wine will ‘age gracefully over the next 3 to 5 years.’ I’d better crack it open and see…. Before the tulips come out.

Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2015 is available in Waitrose and is usually £8.29 but is on a cracking deal at £5.99 until 26th January. You can also buy it at Ocado at £6.21 and in Asda at £7.95. So even if you’re not drinking… STOCK UP!