With strong influence of Alex Dale’s upbringing in Burgundy, the making of this Chardonnay is also adapted to our particular conditions in this ocean-facing part of the Cape – our mineral geology and temperate maritime climate both lending much to the equation. Restraining acidity, citrus flavours and integrated oaking, the introverted side of its character; ripeness and great persistence on the palate the more expansive side. Genuinely mineral, with a crisp lime- citrus edge and an elegant yet intense durability. A Chardonnay striving to be individual, focused on backbone and not butter.
In the Vineyard
Two exceptional, ocean facing sites on the foothills of the Helderberg and Polkadraai hills are used for this Chardonnay. With the vines now averaging 27 years old, the wine that these vines produce shows the typical intensity that one can expect from mature Chardonnay vineyards. The crunchy, granite derived soil type (Clovelly) imparts a lovely, flinty minerality to the wine and proximity to sea means the wine naturally possesses a bracing freshness.
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 barrel. 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.