Our first release, but from vines we have worked with for many years. Following our purchase of an organic wine farm in Elgin, we have redirected these Stellenbosch sites from our Terroir tier and into Vinum. We’re big fans of granite Chardonnay and here in the Polkadraai the soils are younger, decomposing & carrying warmth, whilst the ocean breezes keep things in check above ground. It gives coastal Stellenbosch Chardonnay a unique character – a telltale smack of minerality and real tension from underlying, naturally derived acidity
Pale gold in colour with vibrant green tinge. Lemon blossom and mandarin notes combine on the nose, while a touch of brioche hints at barrel fermentation. Lively acidity and lemon zest add zip to the palate after which white peach lead into a generously round mid palate. The finish is taut and crisp leaving one with a clean, mineral lift.
We've received some wonderful reviews already (from the likes of Julia Harding MW, Jamie Goode and Christian Eedes) for the new Vinum range - see here.
In the Vineyard
Two ocean facing sites on the foothills of the Helderberg & Polkadraai hills are used for this Chardonnay. The Polkadraai hills vineyard is 22 years old & picked earlier for freshness, with the Heldeberg site, at 11 years of age, picked later for palate weight & texture. The soils are crunchy, granite derived Clovelly. We believe this brings a mineral character to the wine. The sites have uninterrupted views to the sea & the maritime breeze brought in by the south easter. Harvest in 2021 was around 10 days later than the norm, with a smaller crop, but cooler ripening temperatures. We’re thrilled with the concentration & aromatics in this vintage.
In the Cellar
The grapes were all hand-picked at dawn into small lug-bins, chilled in our white wine cellar, then hand-fed over a sorting table. Whole bunch pressed, with the free-run juice settled for two days before being gravity-fed into a combination of 228L and 300L barrels from Burgundian cooperage ranging in age from 3 to 6 years old. Alcoholic fermentation entirely carried out in barrel (only using natural ambient yeast) for 8–10 weeks. Cellar maintained very cold at about 10° Celsius (fermentation peaking at about 18°), then temperature dropped to 7°. Racked out of barrel after 9 months on the lees, assembled and settled with a light bentonite fining and no filtration until bottling.