Wine of the week: MAN Chenin Blanc 2018

MAN Chenin BlancSouth Africa’s MAN chenin blanc offers quality and value in an $11 white wine

I’ve spent the past couple of months writing about South African wine, not only here but for the trade media. The goal? Trying to figure out if South Africa can fill the void caused by the 25 percent tariff on French, Spanish, and German wine.

Sadly, despite top quality wines like the MAN chenin blanc ($11, purchased, 12.5%), the answer seems to be no. The reasons are many, including the three-tier system (since each wine needs a distributor, which most don’t have) and problematic pricing on higher-end South African wines.

Which is too bad, since the MAN chenin blanc does everything a terrific $10 wine should do. It’s a far cry from the country’s pre-Apartheid chenin blanc, when it was called steen and was likely to be soft and flabby.

Instead, the MAN is fresh, crisp, and enjoyable, without any cloying fruit or sweetness. Look for some lime and tropical fruit and more layers of flavor than most chenins at this price have. In this, is a professional wine and very well done, and shows how far South African winemaking has come.

Imported by Vineyard Brands

4 thoughts on “Wine of the week: MAN Chenin Blanc 2018

  • By eric -

    thanks! been wanting to try more SA wines this year, but didn’t know how to get started. I’ve seen this MAN brand in a few stores here in NYC, and will try this one.

  • By Molly Merrill -

    I was able to find this wine in a DC shop, but they sold me the 2019. Have you tried that vintage, and do you think it differs much from the 2018? I enjoy your site1

    Thanks, Molly

    • By Wine Curmudgeon -

      This wine should be consistent from vintage to vintage. Let me know what you think.

  • By Molly Merrill -

    We liked it. Quite different from other Chenin Blancs we’ve tried. It is very dry. I had chilled it too much at first, but as it warmed it became much more flavorful and nuanced.

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