Our Chardonnay grows in a model vineyard located just behind the cellar. Apart from the occasional tourist tromping through after a wine tasting, these soils are relatively loose and uncompacted, creating a healthy subsoil ecosystem and relatively vigourous vegetative growth. We restrain the vines' ambition with a carefully-timed program of manual suckering, combing, and tipping during the spring. This keeps the vines focused on their fruit and causes them to develop concentrated, explosive flavours by harvest.
The Chardonnay clone planted here is more traditionally used for méthode Champenoise (known in South Africa as Méthode Cap Classique) and we sold these grapes for several years to a neighbour and friend before deciding to give it a try in our cellar in 2009. Due to clonal character the fruit ripens relatively early and tends to produce wines with flinty mineral notes. It's no coincidence that these are the same characters lauded in the Cape's best bubblies!
This example has a sweet entry that almost betrays its barrel maturation. The broad, soft palate is full of fresh ripe pineapple and flinty stone. With aging of 1-2 years touches of lime and watermelon will give way to darker butterscotch and honey. There's enough fresh fruit here to titillate the easy-drinker, but structure to hold up to stronger flavours like roast chicken or duck.Veritas Awards Bronze Medal