To call this Chardonnay good, is a bit like calling Michelangelo a painter. This, the Queen of Chardonnays, comes from the Chardonnay specialists at De Wetshof in the Robertson Wine Appellation, Danie, Johann and Peter de Wet and their team of vineyard workers, cellar workers and those who handle the sales and Marketing and the logistics of sending these sublime wines all over the world. Though of course there is much more to De Wetshof than Chardonnay, there’s a raft of ripsnorting wines produced here, the De Wetshof Bateleur Chardonnay 2017 is but one of them.
The grapes for the De Wetshof Bateleur Chardonnay 2017 come from the oldest vineyard on the Estate, 3.51ha, planted in 1987 in the famous Robertson gravelly soils with a high lime content and a high pH. The grapes come into the cellar early in the morning before the day’s heat sets in. Destalking and crushing takes place and the grapes are gently pressed. The juice is cool settled overnight, and the clear juice is racked off the lees and taken to French Oak Barrels especially chosen for the Estate by Christian Radoux, the well-known French Cooper and friend of the family. Once fermentation is complete, the lees are regularly stirred ensuring great flavours in the final wine. A couple of months in the barrels without the lees completes all the processes before the wine is bottled.
The wine is bottled in a classical Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is elegant and simple. The CVC label appears on the foil at the top of the bottle. Read more about CVC, CLICK HERE
In the glass, the wine is a golden straw in colour. The aromas which ‘jump’ out at you before your nose reaches the glass, are rich and full and classically Chardonnay. The windfall oranges, marzipan and oak spice and vanilla. The tasting thereof is a total immersion in Chardonnay. A thread of gentle acidity runs through from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. The palate is generous, especially in the mid-section. The flavours are the aromas repeated with touches of pear drops [not that well known in South Africa, my grandmother always had a tin in her car], the richness and fullness is just so satisfying, you are drinking liquid heaven here. Hope you have taken your hat off in respect. The wine is perfect for now drinking though can only improves over a number of years from cool cellaring. A hugely impressive glass.
The De Wetshof Bateleur Chardonnay 2017 is no quaffer, or, indeed a sipper, it is a food wine. So, with what? There are a number of lovely vegetarian dishes of which I think, a pasta oozing cream with mushrooms and caramelised shallots. A lusty Aubergine, sun dried tomato and brown mushroom dish. Don’t use Parmesan as it is not vegetarian. Sushi, sashimi or ceviche. Veal scallops in an orange sauce. Duck with berries, or a belly of pork with crispy crackling. Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Roast Pork Belly with Spiced Plums is a perfect partner, now that plums are in season again. Click HERE for the recipe and to browse her fabulous website.
Click to read more about De Wetshof Wine Estate – CLICK HERE