Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay Brut

Steenberg Wine Estate is one of the oldest in the Constantia Wine Appellation having been granted to the Widow Ras in 1682. The modern Steenberg boasts not only a fine array of sublime wines, but also two excellent restaurants, the Bistro 1682 with Kerry Kilpin as Chef and Catharina’s with Archie McLean at the helm.

JD Pretorius & Jolette Steyn welcome Ernie the Egg Shaped Fermenter

In the cellar, JD Pretorius, a former Diner’s Cub Junior Winemaker of the Year, reigns supreme. His assistant is the well traveled Jolette Steyn.

The Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay Brut is traditionally a Blanc de Blanc [white of whites] and the Chardonnay grapes used in its production come from the Robertson, Darling and Bonnievale Wine Appellations.  The wine is made in the traditional Champagne style with a second fermentation in the bottle and is designated Méthode Cap Classique, the South African name for this style of wine.

Once the hand harvested grapes are in the cellar, they are whole bunch pressed.  The juice is high in acidity and has little in terms of varietal flavour. A strong strain of yeast is used in the fermentation to form the base wine. Once the base wine is fermented, it is then bottled with a shot of sugar and special yeast. This second fermentation forms the tiny little bubbles in the final wine.  The wine is then laid down for anything from a year to eighteen months before disgorging and having the cork closure and wire muzzle applied.

Freshly harvested Chardonnay

It looks like
Bottled in a traditional Champagne shape bottle under the classical cork and muzzle closure. Elegant bright yellow label. In the glass, a pale lemon straw colour with the tiniest of bubbles rushing to the surface.

It smells like
Fresh and bright fruit, lemon drops, green apples and ripe white fleshed peach.

It tastes like
Very vibrant with its tiny bubbles enlivening the palate. Nice complex leesy, nutty, baked almond brioche flavours with the lemon and peach showing well.  Brilliant acidity, fresh and crisp on the long aftertaste.

Lizet Hartley’s Corn fritters with salmon & lemon-dill crème fraîche

It’s good with
Perfect as a mid-morning refresher – no special occasion required! It works well with food, lifting the flavours of oysters, fat poached prawns or smoked fish like salmon, trout or angelfish. As a pre-dinner snack Lizet Hartley’s Corn fritters with salmon & lemon-dill crème fraîche are a great match. Click here for her recipe.

Lizet Hartley at work in her kitchen

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