by Treve Ring | BlankBOTTLE founder/winemaker/creator/artist Pieter Walsner stands alone. He makes “wines that tread the line between creative and legal.” Half of his wines are one-off experiments, and if they perform well they may be repeated. However, that’s not the point. “If I can one day have 50 wines in my portfolio I would be happy” notes Walser. Punk, rebel, genius, he exemplifies the groundswell of what is really happening in the most exciting, innovative and authentic wine region on the planet right now: South Africa.
In 2015, Pieter worked with more than 60 vineyards in the Western Cape, clocking hundreds of hours and thousands of miles to nurture them all. And yes, Pieter is a true garagiste, a lekker oke who makes exceptional, naturalist wines out of an actual garage.
Blankbottle 2015 Moment of Silence | WO Wellington, South Africa | $25
Moment of Silence is chenin blanc, chardonnay and viognier from seven sites, some quite old, in Wellington. It was wild fermented in very old French oak where it aged for one year on the lees before being blended and bottled. Creamy, expansive and textural, but with an effortless and gentle lightness from the thin, driving vein of acidity that streams along. Lovely ripe pear, quince, pear skin is balanced well with lees and the comfort of older wood. There is a kelp/saline note that weaves throughout the weighted, lees-lined palate, up to the fantastic buzzy lemon thistle that along the warming (14 percent) end. Chenin clearly rules here, with the rivet of acidity throughout to the slight bump of warmth on the finish. Seek and taste now, because there’s every assurance this exact wine will never be again. For the better. Crazy good value for this level of everything.
And he designs all the labels himself for every single wine. What are you waiting for?