This is an elemental wine. South Africa is defined by careful balance. Hot sun and cool coastal breezes, the changing of the seasons, the passing of time. You can sense all this at work here.
Heady tangerine and citrus blossom meet rich vanilla pod and almond flakes. It’s as fragrant as spring, ripe as summer, ephemeral as autumn and crisp as winter. Like any given Melbourne day in a glass.
The best thing, though, is its versatility. It’s absolutely perfect to take to dinner, particularly when you don’t know what’s on the menu. The fresh acid will pair beautifully with bright dishes, but there’s enough richness to sit well with heavier fare. Plus, a wine from a South African chardonnay legend definitely makes a good talking point.
Elemental, yes, and probably essential.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- South Africa
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
On the nose this wine shows great citrus aspects and winter melon notes with some light toasted brioche in the back ground. Tangerine fruit and citrus blossom fragrances are apparent, with hints of vanilla pod and almond flakes. Thesecharacteristics follow through onto the palate. The fine, fresh acidity is natural, and adds poise and focus to the wine.
Currently there are 13.7 hectares planted to Chardonnay on the estate, which equates to 18.2% of the total plantings. Clones include 76, 95 175, 270, 548 and 1066. The first vines were planted in 1987 and the youngest blocks in 2016. Vines range in age from 2 to 31 years. The soil is predominantly decomposed Bokkeveld Shale with underlying clay layers of varying depths. Vine orientation is East/West on the South east facing slopes and North/South on the SouthSouth West facing slopes. Height above sea level ranges from 280 to 350 meters.
This wine was 100% wild fermented in a selection of French oak barrels. (30% new, the rest 2nd; 3rd and 4th fill.) Lees stirring was done and the wine remained on the lees for a total of nine months without any Sulphur addition. Only 25% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, all without inoculation, further ensuring freshness and acidity. After tasting and blending trials, the wine was assembled from the best barrels, stabilised and prepared for bottling.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Salt & pepper squid
- 3 (about 600g) large cleaned squid hoods
- 1L (4 cups) vegetable oil
- 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- Lemon wedges and soy sauce with
- sliced fresh red chilli, to serve
- Use a sharp knife to cut through 1 side of each squid hood lengthways. Open out flat with inside surface facing up and score surface diagonally. Cut into 3.5cm squares and pat dry with paper towel.
- Heat the oil in a large wok over medium heat until it reaches 190°C on a confectionary/oil thermometer. (Or, add a 5cm cube of bread to the oil - it should turn light golden in 10 seconds.)
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice and chilli in a medium bowl. Add the squid and toss gently to coat.
- Remove half of the squid from the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Add to the oil and cook, turning with a slotted metal spoon, for 2 minutes or until the squid just turns golden and curls. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the squid to a large plate lined with paper towel to drain. Reheat the oil in the wok to 190°C. Repeat with the remaining squid.
- Serve immediately with the lemon wedges and chilli soy sauce.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...