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RIESLING

CHI

Chi Riesling 2024

– production 12400 bottles by Jessica Saurwein

 

Grape origin: 

60% of the blend’s fruit comes from Casey’s Ridge Vineyard, Elgin on loamy and very rocky red slate soils. (Riesling clones WR110F and vineyard was planted 2011.) The other 40% of the blend De Bos Vineyard, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on decomposed Bokkeveld Shale and Sandstone. (Riesling clones 110 & 239 AB and vineyard was planted 2011.)

 

Vintage 2024:

2024 was a great vintage with long, cool ripening 

Keywords for this vintage: light and fresh, sunshine in a glass

 

Winemaking:

Grapes were hand-picked, cooled, then hand-sorted, destemmed and pressed. Spontaneous fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks, which lasted about 4 weeks until optimal residual sugar balance achieved at about 11,5 g/ l. The wine was prepared for bottling and bottled after 2 months in tank.

 

Experience:

Fragrant citrus blossom, yellow flowers and citrus, white pear, ginger, flint

 

The story: 

Chi means “life force” and Chi stands for CHIUTA (an African rain god). Situated in the fertile Elgin valley, the picturesque vineyard site inspired the creation of this crisp, handcrafted Riesling. 

 

If you like - Ideal Cuisine:

Salads/ cheeses/ Asian-style dishes with a bit of spice/ sweetness

 

Technicalities:

Residual Sugar: 11,5 g/l 

pH: 3.0

Total acidity: 8,5 g/l

Alcohol: 11,0 %

 

May the “Chi” be with you!

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Find all other Chi Riesling vintages here

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Chi Riesling Ratings & Accolades

CHI RIESLING 2022

“…orange blossom and lemon thyme. The palate is taut and crisp with lime and touches of apricot, the 2022 is very pretty with a vivid finish. This is unequivocally one of the superior Rieslings that I have tasted from the Cape.” – 91/100 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com

“The most striking character of the 2022 vintage of Chi Riesling from Jessica Saurwein is it’s mid-palate weight. As with the previous vintage, 60% of the grapes from Vrede en Lust’s Casey’s Ridge property and 40% from Paul Cluver, winemaking involving spontaneous fermentation and three months of maturation in stainless steel tank. Analysis is revealing in that the wine has a residual sugar of 11.5g/l to go with an alcohol of 11.5% and a total acidity of 7.2g/l. The nose shows floral perfume before lime, green apple, ginger and other spice. The palate, meanwhile, has dense fruit matched by incisive freshness – the texture is quite creamy thanks to that RS but there’s no shortage of refreshment factor.” – 92/100 points, Christian Eedes, Winemag.com

“60% of the blend’s fruit comes from Casey’s Ridge Vineyard on loamy and very rocky red slate soils (planted 2011). The other 40% from De Rust Vineyard on decomposed shale. Spontaneous fermentation in tank. RS 11.5 g/l. Like the 2021, marked by limey freshness but with a wider range of aromas even though it is younger. Seems sweeter on the palate, though my notes tell me they are the same. Relatively simple sweet/sour balance...” – 16/20 Julia Harding, Drink 2023-2026

This is certainly a wine that has grown in stature year after year to now feature as probably South Africa’s most premium quality Riesling produced. You wouldn’t expect anything less considering Jessica’s German heritage. The aromatics are very Mosel in style with opulent layers of crystalline white peach, talc, yellow citrus rock candy, Granny Smith green apples and just the most delicate waxy mineral hint. In the mouth the wine really comes alive with explosive tart juicy mouth-watering fruits of white citrus, lime cordial, green apple pastille and white crunchy peach all assembled with impressive textural precision, focus and purity. The acidity is wonderfully bright and electric but expertly balanced by a perfect residual sugar component helping to create a very fine textural equilibrium with fabulous persistence and zippy length. Quite simply the best expression of Riesling produced in South Africa. Jessica’s hard work and extreme attention to detail should be celebrated. Drink now and over the next 10+ years. - Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW

CHI RIESLING 2021

93/100 points, Christian Eedes, Winemag.com

93/100 points, Tim Atkin MW, Drink: 2022-27

CHI RIESLING 2020

“The 2020 Riesling Chi has a clean nose, more Eden Valley than Mosel, featuring delicate touches of wild peach and apricot blossom. The palate is well balanced, taut and fresh, with fine acidity and a defined, saline finish. Delicious.” – Neal Martin, 90/100 points

“The 2020 Riesling Saurwein Chi comes from two vineyards blended together and underwent two months of fermentation to obtain the desired residual sugar level. It has a pretty bouquet of light tropical scents of white peach and apricot, touches of chamomile emerging with time. The palate is well balanced with fine acidity, not overly complex but pretty and actually reminiscent of a fine Clare Valley Riesling that should age well in bottle.” – Neal Martin, Vineous.com, 91/100 points, drink 2023 – 2033

Tasted and rated in the first edition of Falstaff International. – 93/100 points

“Until now, Chi Riesling from Jessica Saurwein has been made entirely from grapes grown on Casey’s Ridge, the Elgin property owned by Vrede en Lust but the newly released 2020 includes a 40% portion from Paul Cluver and production has been increased to 5 900 bottles. Spontaneous fermentation took place in tank and lasted about six weeks until optimal balance between sugar and acidity was achieved (RS is 7,8g/l and TA is 7,0g/l). The 2020 currently comes across as rather primary with pretty aromatics of orchard blossom, peach and green apple plus a little reduction while the palate has plenty of juicy fruit and seems a little plumper than its predecessors. It’s easy enough to like now but six to 12 months in bottle should see it come into its own.” – 91/100 points, Christian Eedes, Winemag.com

“German ex-pat Jessica Saurwein makes this delightfully precise, pure, just off-dry Riesling in a Cape meets the Mosel Valley style. Racy and stony with tangy lime juice acidity, some balancing sweetness and a white pepper undertone.” – Tim Atkin MW, 93/100 points, Drink 2021-26

“Tasting Jessica Saurwein’s New Chi Riesling 2020 – One of the Most Exceptional Dry Rieslings Produced in South Africa To Date…” 93/100, Greg Sherwood MW

CHI RIESLING 2019

“Semi-dry gem celebrating the ‘life force’ doubled quantity to 450 cases. Steely, stony & vibrant, it bristles with fresh lime flavour, the few grams sugar buffed by a thrilling acidity. From cool Elgin vines. Agreeable 12% alcohol. Lovely, versatile aperitif & food partner.” 91/100, David Swingler, Platter’s Wine Guide 2021

“Just off dry at 7.6 grams of sugar, but the acidity and steely focus are such that you barely notice it. Appropriately Germanic in style, this is all about precision, focus and palate length, brimming with flavours of fresh green apple and lime.” 92/100, 2021-25, Tim Atkin Special Report 2020

“Cuts right through the palate – very brisk and precise. Very edgy and super-refreshing. Very bright fruit indeed and a dry impression. Still a little chewy but it should age well. Possibly the best South African Riesling I have tasted. 12% Drink 2019 – 2024” – 16,5/20, Jancis Robinson, New Wave South Africa – 2019

“Highly recommended and hot stuff” – Jancis Robinson, Financial Times, Review 2019

CHI RIESLING 2018 (FIRST VINTAGE)

“Lime, green apple and a subtle herbal note on the nose. Lean in the best sense with driving acidity – lovely fruit purity before a bone-dry finish. So very focused.” – 92/100 points by Christian Eedes

90/100, Wine Enthusiast

93/100, Greg Sherwood MW

“Lime, green apple and a subtle herbal note on the nose. Lean in the best sense with driving acidity – lovely fruit purity before a bone-dry finish. So very focused.” – 92/100, Christian Eedes

 

Chi Riesling highlighted as one of the 10 TOP FOOD PAIRINGS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN WINES – Fiona Beckett

Recommended as Wine of the Week: “Two ground-breaking South African creations”, – MoneyWeek by Matthew Jukes, September 2019

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