ALSO READ: Chenin Blanc – the perfect Winter white?
I love all these ‘International Day of the Grape Variety’ days – what a great excuse to drink more wine! If you’re one of these people who think they don’t like Chardonnay, then perhaps this is a good time to re-think and try some of the newer, fresher, more utterly delicious wines. Here’s a few to get you started:
Van Loveren Rhino Run Chardonnay 2016
I’ve always been a fan of Van Loveren’s Chardonnays – grown on beautiful limestone soils and carefully made to balance out fruit and oak in delightful harmony. This one has the added kick of supporting rhino conservation – something I’m sure we can all get behind. Buy it for its bright stone fruit and mango flavours as well, you’ll still enjoy lots of bang for your buck.
Alvi’s Drift Reserve Chardonnay 2016
I’ve been buying a lot of this wine recently for my wine courses and it’s a great one to show – lovely balance between creamy yellow fruit with a touch of spicy oak. This excellent quality wine is available at a great price, and if you can restrain yourself, will age nicely for 2 to 3 years.
De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 2017
Are De Wetshof the Kings of Chardonnay? I think you could say so – first guys to bring it in, first guys to plant it, first guys to realise the potential of Chardonnay on Robertson’s limestone soils. This is the style of Chardonnay I really enjoy – lightly-oaked with plenty of lime-y acidity and fresh tropical fruit notes – but if you want a different style, you can be sure that they’ve got one to suit you too.
Groote Post Kapokberg Chardonnay 2016 (+ Unwooded 2017)
Groote Post are probably better known for their Sauvignon Blanc or their yummy Old Man’s Blends which have been favourites of mine since I came to SA, but neglect their Chardonnays at your peril! The Kapokberg uses mainly old oak to give subtle roundness to the ripe peach notes or you can try the crisper, livelier flavours of the unwooded for just a little cheaper.
Laarman Wines Focal Point Chardonnay 2017 Available from Wine Concepts
After a decade or so of making Glen Carlou’s Chardonnays the talk of the town, winemaker Arco Laarman is out to do the same thing under his own name. This is his top wine (you can also get the Cluster series at a very smashable price) and, as the name suggests it is a tight, focused wine with subtle oaking and excellent length. I love that it comes with its own cork re-sealer on the top (each one handmade by Arco himself) except that with wine this tasty, there is a very slim chance of there being any wine leftover!