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Painted Wolf 'Peloton Blanc' 2014



A conversation thread about the following wine:

This conversation resulted from the TWS Taste event on October 18th, 2017 - the general thread of that conversation can be found here:

Read on to learn more about members’ thoughts on this wine and feel free to add your thoughts at the end.

#TWS Taste [18 Oct 2017]; The Wolf Pack
#TWS Taste [18 Oct 2017]; The Wolf Pack
#TWS Taste [18 Oct 2017]; The Wolf Pack

White blends are among the best of South Africa’s wines today. We believe this modestly priced offering offers considerable complexity for the money.


Painted Wolf was created by Emma and Jeremy Borg, who started their vinous adventure together back in 2005.

Although Jeremy had over 20 years’ experience in wineries throughout South Africa, the UK, and the USA, and Emma had experience as a wine photographer, it was in 2005 that they were first approached to make their own wine. A friend’s winery had an excess of grapes, and Emma and Jeremy couldn’t resist getting involved.


They had to bottle and cork the wine by hand, but this only fuelled their passion, and they began looking for inspiration for their own wine brand. Painted Wolf came about when Jeremy read about the endangered African wild dog (highly social and organised animals, and persistent and effective hunters). Emma and Jeremy shared the painted wolf’s appetite and keen hunting skills, although in their case this was for grapes to make their growing range of wines. The painted wolf takes pride of place on their labels, and such is their love for the species, and their dedication to wildlife preservation, that a percentage of profit made on every bottle is donated to conservation charities to help protect it.

Over the years this husband-and-wife team compiled a list of growers and winemakers they could trust, and these became the Painted Wolf ‘pack’. The vineyards chosen by the couple are low-yielding and usually non-irrigated. Their three main vineyards are Kasteelsig in Swartland, Southern Cross in Paarl, and Devon Hills in Stellenbosch.

Bordeaux-style blends are one of the Stellenbosch region’s great strengths. Wines such as Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer, Meerlust’s Rubicon and Warwick’s Trilogy are South African icons, produced over many years, and with proven ageing capacity. The striking Simonsberg mountain names the ward (or area) most highly sought after for these reds, but Stellenbosch produces a wide range of wine styles, from excellent chenin blancs and sauvignons to robust pinotage and Cape Blends.

Paarl is its less-well-known neighbour, also warm, and best known for its robust but smooth reds.

The generally warmer Swartland region has been at the forefront of the development of Rhône varietals in South Africa, led by stars such as Eben Sadie, as well as home to some of the best old chenin blanc vines.


Okay, shall we have a communal sniff & swirl. I’d be really interested in your first impressions. Over to you.


Interesting darkish yellow with a Chardonnay like smell


Grassy nose. Soft; doesn’t last though.


Would anyone care to hazard a guess at the blend of this wine?


Initial impressions on the nose = this is my kind of wine! Lovely balance between the fruit and oak, neither overdoes it


Definitely getting some chardonnay on the nose


Have to admit I cheated and looked at the label


That’s impressive


That’s impressive too, in its own way :wink:


Some Chenin, maybe?


Yes @AlanBD, to me it seems there’s a fair bit going on but it’s slightly elusive. I am enjoying the hints of honey, though, and a little bit of perfumey/floral character.


It is really interesting because for so long the wines of South Africa and other ‘new world’ countries were so driven by being single varietals that to blend even two grapes was seen as ‘cheap’ alternatives. However, some of the very best South African whites I’ve tasted have been unusual blends, such as Force Majeure


Two of the five components mentioned already. This is a blend of viognier 36%; chenin blanc 35%; roussanne 16%; chardonnay 10%; marsanne 3%


Also getting the floral


I was thinking possibly viognier but wouldn’t have picked the roussanne and marsanne


I’m often put off wines that describe themselves as ‘barrel fermented’ because unless it is done well, it can be overpowering and remove any character other than the oak / vanilla / clove you get from the wood, but this smells much more approachable. Adds complexity without overpowering the fruit