I approached this new wine with a little trepidation as I know all too well from previous experience that Ian Naude’s wines always need a few years in bottle to settle in and really start to fan their peacock tail. Happily, this 2020 is already very impressive with wonderfully complex aromatics of crystallised pineapple chunks, bruised yellow orchard fruit, tangerine peal, white peach, wet thatch and sweet & sour notes of passion fruit liquor. The palate shows lovely vibrancy and energy all wrapped up tightly in a fine, harmonious glycerol depth of fruit concentration that seems slightly more exotic than previous vintages with seductive notes of lemon cordial, pineapples in syrup, tart white peaches and pithy green apple candy. Like all Ian’s delightful creations, this wine retains an incredible crystalline purity, tangy fresh acids, nervy textural linearity and a granitic liquid minerality that washes over the palate to counter-balance the fruit intensity. This is signature Naudé Chenin Blanc but with a wonderful hint of Swartland wild child vintage character thrown into the mix. Drink from 2022 to 2040+. 95/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Producer Information: Naude Wines
Ian Naude's winemaking career was a matter of happenstance. His father's dairy farm included some vineyards, and to put them to use he began as an apprentice winemaker. It was not long before he consecrated his career to winemaking, managing, despite South Africa's stigma of apartheid, to secure positions throughout the world's viticultural areas. For a decade, he worked harvests in France, Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States, including a few years in Sonoma with Robert Young and in the Columbia Valley with Hogue Cellars. Taking advantage of opposing seasons, he returned periodically to work harvests in South Africa.
After many years hard graft at other wineries, Ian finally branched out fulltime with his own Naude Family Wines venture. A quiet and modest genius, Ian is regarded as one of the finest winemakers in South Africa and recent awards confirm this. 2020 was Ian’s most successful year to date winning his first 5 Star Platter Wine Award and also saw two Naude whites ranked in the Decanter Top 100 Wines of the Year. Master of the white blend and champion of Old Vines in South Africa, Ian is finally receiving the global recognition and rave reviews he so deserves.