The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is one of the most exciting places to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in South Africa.
The Chardonnay grapes were sourced from vineyards planted on Table Mountain sandstone and decomposed granite. The climate is cool and temperate, where parallel mountain ranges channel ocean winds through the appellation during the summer.
The grapes were picked, hand-sorted and transported in refrigerated trucks to the winery in Franschhoek. Careful selection took place before whole-bunch pressing. The juice settled naturally in the tank for two days before being racked off into 50% small Burgundian 1,200L Foudre and 50% new French oak barriques where fermentation began spontaneously. Light batonnage was performed throughout the 14 months of elevage.
The nose shows an intense citrus aromas, with whiffs of blood orange, yellow apple, fresh peach, angelica and undertones of nutmeg, ginger and cloves from gently toasted oak. Flavours of ripe mandarin and hints of lemon curd and white blossom follow through onto an elegant, poised palate. The midpalate is very focused, smooth and buttery, with good weight, yet enough tension. The wine has a subtle smoky but refreshing finish with delicate nuances of lemongrass and verbena lingering in the mouth.