2018 was the last harvest of the worst drought in the Cape in living memory. The drought was broken in the Winter of 2018 and there is talk that the vines will need at least three years to recover. “At the onset of harvest, people were expecting a below average vintage, however, going on what we are tasting and seeing in the cellar, vintage 2018 was an above average vintage,” says Bellingham Winemaker, Richard Duckitt “Our yields are down a little, but the quality is definitely not.” Good news for us who drink the lovely Bellingham Wines.
The grapes for the Bellingham The Homestead Series Chardonnay 2018 come from a selection of mountainous terrains., a diversity of terroirs and are grown in the decomposed granite soils in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. South-westerly summer breezes originating in False Bay ameliorate the heat in the vineyards.
Once in the cellar, the grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice cool settled. 60% of the juice was fermented in new and second fill French oak barrels, while the remainder went to stainless steel tanks. The wine was then mature for 6 months with frequent batonnage. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple and elegant with an engraving of the Bellingham Homestead. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw with some lime green flashes. Honeycombed buttered sugar with oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla is found on the nose and from entry, there is a lovely line of refreshing acidity and citrus with the full flavour of melon in the generous palate. Ready for now drinking.
The Bellingham The Homestead Series Chardonnay 2018 is a serious sipping wine at sundown and just great with food. Will be a great treat with a roast belly of pork with lovely crackling, a mild vegetarian curry or a classical Caesar Salad. Jane-Anne Hobbs’s Salad of Shaved Baby Fennel, Apple and Smoked Mackerel is a perfect lunchtime companion to the wine. Click HERE to see her recipe and have a look at her website.
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