A Trader Joe's pick with a tiny price tag but plenty of flavor, we revisit the $5 Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier to check out the latest vintage.
79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier from Western Cape, South Africa.
The Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier is available exclusively at Trader Joe's and sells for just $4.99. It is imported by Amphora Imports.
Bright aromas of passion fruit, guava, melon, sweet lychee and honeyed tangerine. A weighty mid palate that extends into a lingering aftertaste of yellow plum.
Mbali is the Zulu word for flower. The Protea is South Africa's national flower and is resilient to harsh conditions. The Protea inspires us to be resilient in our pursuit to craft fine wines.
Produced and Bottled by Zidela Wines
Chenin Blanc and Viognier make for a wonderful blend, and it's one that has been a staple at Trader Joe's for years first with the Pine Ridge and more recently with their own Petit Reserve version. Both of those; however, come from California. At the same time, we've long touted the excellent Chenin Blanc coming from South Africa so it makes perfect sense that they should have an entry in this category.
We've been recommending this wine for several years now so let's see how the latest vintage compares.
The 2021 Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier begins with a pleasing aroma of full of melon, lemon, lime, tangerine and a little honeysuckle.
Taking a sip reveals a fresh, light, tasty wine with a lively mouthfeel. It features similar flavors to the nose but the tangerine notes are cranked up in the mouth. Simple but surprisingly delicious and very easy to drink, this is the type of wine we affectionately refer to as a porch pounder.
It finishes dry, tart and fresh and with good length. And while it's not as good as the Pine Ridge which pretty much sets the standard for this blend, it is well worth the tiny price tag.
2021 Mbali Chenin Blanc Viognier
You can also find more of our favorite wines from South Africa here!