Bellingham Wine Estate at the entrance to the Franschhoek Valley from Groot Drakenstein has brought like a phoenix from the ashes by the legendary Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk who took possession of the farm when Bernard was boarded from the Royal Air Force after world War 2. They rebuilt the buildings re-laid the now beautiful gardens. Bernhard, always the maverick, always ahead of his time proceeded to make some superb wines, using unknown equipment which he had Paarl Engineers make up for him.
The Cape’s devastating drought played a dominant role in the 2018 harvest. “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 winemaker, Richard Duckitt “Our yields are down a little, but the quality is definitely not.”
The grapes were hand harvested from mountainous terrain and diversity of terroirs both being key contributors to making the Stellenbosch Coastal Appellation a premier viticultural area with its decomposed granite soils.
Once in the cellar the bunches were whole bunch pressed and the juice cool settled. 60% of the juice was fermented in a mix of new and 2nd fill French oak barrels, using natural vineyard yeasts. Maturation took place for 9 months during which time, regular batonnage took place. The balance was vinified in stainless steel. The wines were then blended and prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. Elegant etching of the Bellingham Homestead on the label. In the glass, the wine is a rich pink gold in colour, The aromas are classical chardonnay, windfall oranges, caramel, spice and vanilla from the toasted oak. The palate from entry has a sweet tropical line avidity which goes into the long aftertaste. The mid palate is layered and textured with orange, melon and a touch of mango. The wine is so perfect for drinking now. It will reward you after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
In this period between Christmas and New Year, you want simple wholesome food. Nina Timm’s Granny’s Roast Chicken is a perfect partner to the wine. CLICK HERE for her recipe.
Nina Timm of my-easy-cooking.com
CLICK HERE to watch my Video about the Bellingham The Homestead Series Chardonnay 2018
Read more about Bellingham Wines – CLICK HERE