When I realized that this chenin blanc from South Africa’s Western Cape region was a “wooded chenin,” I thought, “Gosh, what I really want from a cheap chenin blanc is crispness and freshness, not wood.” The Golden Kaan Chenin Blanc 2007, however, is thoughtfully and subtly made, with 70 percent of the wine kept in stainless steel and 30 percent seeing French oak for three months. The wood influence is more of a haze, a smoky blondness of wood than anything obvious. The wine is quite delectable, bursting with peach and yellow plum and quince scents and flavors, which, in the mouth, are sustained by a texture that would classify as lush if it weren’t jazzed by vibrant acidity and a scintillating limestone finish. For all its sensual appeal, this chenin blanc is a little too structured to serve as an easy-going aperitif; better to try it with grilled fish or seafood pasta. 977 cases were imported. Lots of personality for the price. Very Good+. About $10.

Imported by Racke USA, Sonoma Cal.