The Robertson Wine Appellation is in the most beautiful valley, known not only for its fine wines but for its roses and stud horses. The calcareous soils are of great benefit to all three. Not only is it a beautiful valley, it is a good valley, hence the name Bon Vallon for this fine unoaked Chardonnay from the family owned and managed De Wetshof Wine Estate. I have been blessed to know the De Wet Family through four generations. Each year, as the vines age, and they are able to do better plantings in better places, the wine improve in quality and stature. This family is serious about what it does.
The grapes for the De Wetshof Bon Vallon 2020 come from three specific vineyards, 9B, 21 and Block 40, all designated in the Robertson Wine Appellation. The grapes are hand harvested pre-dawn before the Summer heat rises in the vineyards. The chosen harvesting time is when the grapes reveal its natural complexities and show Chardonnay at its best without the necessity of supporting French Oak.
The grapes are picked in the coolness of morning, and the emphasis is on capturing the natural complexities of the Chardonnay grape immediately for the making of this unwooded wine. Once in the cellar, the grapes are destemmed crushed and pressed, the juice is cool settled overnight and then racked off the settlings and taken to stainless steel tanks for cool fermentation. Post fermentation the wine lies on its lees with regular stirring, known as batonnage. However today most tank wines are stirred up with a gentle pump. The wines are then blended and bottles
From a Burgundy shaped bottle. Closed with natural cork. The livery is classical elegant and plain. In the glass, the wine is a pale straw in colour with some lime green flashes when held up to the light. Aromas and flavours segue one into the other with a citrus prominence, rich and round with an undertow of fynbos herbaceousness and the taste of little round river stones, you sucked when you were a child. A truly impressive glass, showing vibrantly that Chardonnay does not need oak to shine.
The De Wetshof Bon Vallon 2020 is a serious sipper with lunch or at sundown. It is absolutely made for food. Roasted or cooked over the coals pork belly is good. So is Genevieve Taylor’s Pollo Al Ajillo – Garlic & White Wine Chicken. I am a huge fan of this lady and watch all her social media posts. Her Instagram TV videos are a dream. Click HERE for her recipe. Click HERE for her website.
If you would like to see my review about her book Charred – CLICK HERE.
Red more about De Wetshof Wine Estate and its offerings – CLICK HERE