Liquid Skin, Mother Rock

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Liquid Skin, 2020, Mother Rock

A complex and exotic demonstration of long skin contact on thin-skinned Chenin, and something of a cult orange

Region: Swartland, South Africa
Grape(s): Chenin Blanc
Genre: Organic (in mindset, not stamp)
Low Sulphur: Yes
Tasting Notes: Citrus, green mango, apricot, flint, gunpowder

Mother Rock is a winery established by Johan Meyer, in collaboration with London-based wine importer Ben Henshaw of Indigo Wine – who we must thank for supplying many of our wines here at NAW. As a star in the new wave of South African low intervention wine makers, Johan was able to purchase fruit from organically farmed vineyards, in order to create inexpensive yet high quality wines for his Force Celeste line. The success of this led to an expansion to ‘Mother Rock’ and ‘JH Meyer’ wines, all from bought grapes highlighting exceptional parcels of South Africa’s diverse terroir; recently Johan has purchased some vines of his own and hopes that the 2023 vintage will produce good enough fruit for him to bottle his own wines.

From a single vineyard outside of Malmebury, Swartland, this is a100% Chenin Blanc from bush vines of around 50 years age. Hand harvested and then whole bunch fermented on the skins for two weeks, followed by a further seven weeks skin contact post fermentation. 10 months aging on the lees in old 500 litre oak barrels, it is bottled without fining or filtration and only a minimal amount of SO2 added. It is a complex and well-balanced orange wine, with orange citrus notes, unripe mango, apricot and quince, a robust structure and deep minerality reminiscent of flint and gunpowder.