Attack of the clones….

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Nobel, commercial, international or mainstream, call them what you will, but ‘high street’ grape varieties are invading our wine lists and our wine isles. Sauvignon Bland, Merlot-so-so and Pinot Grigio-no can leave an uninspired taste in your mouth. So is our wine choice suffering from an attack of the clones?
Searching for amazing one-off wines is exciting. Drinking is supposed to be fun, no? Take this bottle of Funky White from South Africa, made by maverick winemaker Adi Badenhorst of AA Badenhorst Family Wines, this is a truly unique, must-try wine.
Starting life as a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and about eight other white grape varieties, including some Palamino, it was made in a solera with new wine added each year. The original plan had been to fortify it to sherry strength but just as an artist evolves his canvas Badenhorst liked the wine sans fortification so much he kept it in it’s virgin form and called it Funky White..

Its sherry like nose will make you salivate for salted almonds, the marmalade bread pudding and currant bun characters will make you yearn for a cup of tea, but the dry and fresh finish your mouth is left with once you swallow will make you reach for another bottle and promise to experiment more.

My only regret with this wine (once you’ve got over it’s name) is it’s size. Available in half bottles you’ll need at least two to satisfy the curiosity of the lucky pals you decide to share it with.

Available at: Hedonism, Handford Wines, SA Wines Online, RRP £14.50 per half bottle

(With thanks to Jo and Claudia at Wines of South Africa UK and Damon at Swig for introducing me to Funky White)

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