Testalonga El Bandito Lekker Chenin Blanc 2019

Type: White
Country: South Africa
Region: Swartland
Grape Variety: 100% Chenin Blanc
Viticulture: Natural Wine | Biodynamic | Organic Farming

Climate: Dry Mediterranean climate
Terroir: The bush vines are rooted in a mixture of sand and lime at 100 meters above sea level. The vines were planted in 1998 and maintained without plant protection or irrigation measures
Winemaking: After the selective hand-picking, the grapes were pressed whole and the must ferment spontaneously in wooden barrels made of French oak, where it was also expanded. During fermentation and maturation, the wine also underwent 100% malolactic fermentation and is filled into 150 magnum bottles with some filling sulfur

Color: Golden yellow with a slight trub
Nose: In the nose, you can smell herbs and quince as well as a certain iodiness
Palate: On the palate, it shows precise acidity and fine tannin as well as the saltiness that was already noticeable

About the Winery:
The wines of Testalonga defy convention in a lot of ways. Craig and Carla Hawkins have never been accused of being “followers” and their wines represent the avant-garde of South African wine.

The Testalonga wines in some ways have come a long way since the first vintage, and in other ways, they remain steadfastly true to the principles upon which the project was established 12 years ago. In our opinion, they are the leaders in natural wine production in South Africa.

Craig and Carla seek purity, precision and brightness in their wines and only work with vineyards that can produce high-quality grapes (with relatively low pH) ensuring that there is minimal need for intervention in the cellar. A herbicide- and pesticide-free approach in the vineyard is essential to their goals. They work with cover crops rather than chemical fertilisers in the winter to ensure moisture retention and general soil health in the dry Swartland climate. Expressing vineyard is key, so all the wines are a single variety from a single site.

In the cellar, there is no yeast, enzymes or acid added. The whites are whole-bunch pressed and then fermented in either stainless steel, Foudre or small oak. The skin fermented white wines are destemmed and then fermented on skins for 7-14 days in wrapped open-top fermenters before being pressed to old wood. The reds are fermented whole-bunch and usually pressed after 3-4 days. A minuscule amount of SO2 may be added before bottling.