When the recent Big 5 Tasting which saw five local wine producers go head to head with top French doppelgängers took place, there was no Chardonnay module. The question was put to organiser Jörg Pfützner of Fine Wine Events why this was, and he proffered that South Africa didn’t have anything to touch Burgundy.
While I’m sure Pfützner’s correct when it comes to Burgundy’s very best sites like Montrachet (all 8.01ha of it), an impromptu tasting last night of three local wines up against the village Mersault Clos de Mazeray from the sexy Domaine Jacques Prieur suggested that we’re not complete no-hopers when it comes to the variety.
The locals in the mix were Ataraxia 2007, Hamilton Russell Vineyards 2008 and Uva Mira Single Vineyard 2009, while the Clos de Mazeray was from the 2005 vintage. The Hamilton Russell was flash like a Ferrari illegally parked on the Camps Bay beachfront, the Uva Mira was all Hummer muscle car and the Clos de Mazeray was a pimp-your-ride Renault Clio Sport. The Ataraxia was the star of the show, Aston Martin elegance but having originally sold for a second-hand Volkswagen Golf price.