2008 Sebeka 'Steen' Chenin Blanc
From: Western Cape, South Africa
Serve with: Shellfish, Southeastern Asian cuisine
Steen is the South African name for chenin blanc, a classic white-wine grape that gets far too little respect outside South Africa and France's Loire Valley, which is where it originated. This bright, fresh wine - the first 2008 to come across my tasting table - represents an exceptional value. It's an easy-to-drink, refreshing wine - made in a fruity but dry style - but it's hardly one-dimensional. It offers lively flavors of citrus fruit, peaches, sweet peas, minerals and honey. Drink it young to enjoy its youthful exuberance. Some may find it suitable for election-night parties.