An Ode to Steen
When we travel the US and present ourselves as South African wine experts one of the questions we often get asked is: “Do you have any Steen wine?”
For many years South Africa was famed for making a unique white wine called Steen. It was likened to a Sauvignon Blanc by some or a Pinot Grigio by others, but was claimed not to be identical in taste to either varietal. This was something different...a special off-dry, fruity wine...affectionately known as Steen.
However, the bubble surrounding this uniquely special wine burst in 1965 when viticulturists declared that the renowned Steen was simply...wait for it...Chenin Blanc! Today, South African Chenin Blanc is gaining notoriety worldwide as a varietal everyone should be drinking. Noted for its variety and complexity, Chenin Blanc can be either a light fruity wine OR a complex oaked wine, depending on how the winemaker chooses to make it. And South African Chenin Blancs are some of the best tasting and best value Chenins (a.k.a. "Steens") you'll find today!
So why not pour yourself a glass of Steen tonight and tell us what you think? You might also enjoy picking up one bottle each of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio to taste the subtle differences for yourself. And, of course, opening 3 bottles can really only mean one thing: wine party! Don't forget to invite friends over to join you in your wine tasting experiment...
Cheers (to Steen)!