On Friday, the biannual Celebration of Chardonnay held by Robertson estate De Wetshof. A formal tasting of 15 leading examples followed by lunch prepared by Garth Stroebel and his team from the SA Chefs Academy during which Peter Veldsman was presented with the Golden Vine Award by Danie and Lesca De Wet in recognition of his culinary achievements.
Scores and tasting notes from the tasting.
Cullen Kevin John 2010
From the biodynamic winery in Margaret River, Australia. Pear, lime and lemon, hint of vanilla and a subtle savoury note. Tangy acidity. Very striking.
De Wetshof Bateleur 2009
Citrus, slight waxy character, hint of vanilla, slight savoury edge. Rich and full but balanced by bright acidity. Complex and demanding.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards 2011
Some burnt matchstick and vanilla on the nose. A lavish wine with concentrated citrus, zesty acidity and well integrated oak. The finish is long and dry.
Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Les Cailleret 1er Cru 2007
Subtle nose showing lime and leesy notes as well as oak spice. Weightless intensity and a great line of acidity. Medium bodied with a long, pithy finish. Perhaps too angular for some.
Hartenberg The Eleanor 2009
Pure citrus fruit, attractive oak and zippy acidity. Slight leesy note lends interest. Long, pithy finish.
Uva Mira Single Vineyard 2010
Lemon, orange and peach plus subtle oak. A big, luscious wine balanced by fresh acidity – very sexy.
Jordan Nine Yards 2011
Peach and orange, oatmeal and a yeasty character on the nose and palate. Rich and broad with a slight oxidative nuttiness about it. Concentrated fruit, tangy acidity.
Springfield Méthode Ancienne 2009
Rich and ripe – blue orange and a pronounced yeasty character. Peculiar but delicious.
De Wetshof The Site 2009
Citrus and a hint of oak. Medium bodied, clean and fresh. Quite primary and fruit driven – relatively straightforward.
Drouhin Clos de Mouches 1er Cru 2009
Citrus and some nuttiness. Juicy fruit, carefully judged oak, well integrated acidity. Modern in style and somewhat generic as a result.
Paul Cluver 2011
Overtly yeasty on the nose. Ripe orange and peach, moderate acidity. Old fashioned (100% MLF).
Cheesy note to the nose. Intense citrus but acidity appears hard and oak sits apart. Seems unresolved.
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered 2011
Citrus, bright acidity, obvious oak. Paint by numbers.
Glen Carlou Quartz Stone 2010
Overt oak on the nose. Sweet fruit – peach and lunchbox orange. Overdone and tiring to drink.
Sonoma, California. Slight terpene note to the nose. Appears sweet on entry and lacks focus. Soft acidity, finishes relatively short.