Last week was Chardonnay Week when Christian Eedes unveiled his Top Ten Chardonnays at French Toast in Bree Street. After a decent interval, I thought I’d show mine, distilled from a couple of hundred tasted blind with Anibal Coutinho (below, looking pensive in Rawsonville) over the past couple of months. Alas, no sponsorship from banksters or insurance salesmen and we also didn’t charge any entrance fee. All ten wines scored ♥♥♥♥♥ and are listed alphabetically. They are just a handful of wines presented in Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013 which will be launched next month.
All wines are terroir wines made from grapes grown in a particular appellation which is where they were tasted. Tastings were organized by the respective wine routes so any auditing queries should be addressed to them. There is a fair amount of similarity between our two lists – far more than in the case of the controversial FNB Sauvignon Blanc selection, which raises plenty of interesting issues around terroir and cultivars.
1. Almenkerk 2011 from Elgin. Citrus perfume, extremely fresh and delicate palate. Full of finesse.
2. Alvi’s Drift 2011 from Worcester. Toasty oak, sweet fruit, rich and creamy, good balance.
3. De Wetshof Finesse 2010 from Robertson. Mineral style, finely boned. Best Robertson Chardonnay IMHO.
4. Domaine des Dieux 2010 from Hemel & Aarde. Liquid Tart Tatin, Mersault style, a huge wine.
5. Glen Carlou Quartz Stone 2010 from Paarl. Rich and ripe flavours, fab intensity, tangy minerality, honeysuckle and orange blossom, another Mersault monster
6. Hamilton Russell 2011 from Hemel & Aarde. Intense limes, floral, good integration, tight palate, will age.
7. Jordan Nine Yards 2011 from Stellenbosch. Top of the pops, icy fresh yellow fruits, world class.
8. Lothian Vineyards 2011 from Elgin. Toasty and rich, vanilla and lanolin. Limes, dried pears and apple pie. Creamy and smooth.
9. Rickety Bridge 2011 from Franschhoek. Extreme almonds, nutty (hazelnuts) with lively minerality.
10. Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2010 from Stellenbosch. A blockbuster. Fantastic intensity and elegance.