Brown and Brain - not South African themselves - are working with two of the country's more noted winemakers. Trizanne Barnard and Bruce Jack were asked to be "forward-thinking, socially responsible and innovative" in making the Lubanzi wines. Brain says they're aiming at the millennial market, a demographic that he thinks has the buying power to lift South Africa's underrated status. He says they want to make a wine that "punches above its weight."
The owners are directing some of the proceeds back to those who helped make the product. Half of their profits will go towards The Pebbles Project, an NGO that works with low-income families on South Africa's wine farms. The Brown and Brain say the group focuses on families "by providing resources and improving access to health & high-quality education."
The Lubanzi Chenin Blanc 2016 is made of grapes grown in Swartland, just north of Cape Town. It has an alcohol content of 12.5% abv
The pale wine gives off an aromatic nose that's loaded with minerals and dressed up with a smoothly savory bit of lanolin. Lemon sneaks in almost unnoticed. The palate shows citrusy minerals and a clean, bracing mouthfeel with plenty of fresh acidity. The finish hangs around a good while, and lets that citrus flavor work its magic.