The De Wet family is now into its fourth generation with the two small children of Johann and Gera, approaching school going age. While the De Wets have to be regarded as foremost Chardonnay specialists in the wine lands, they do produce an impressive range of other white varieties and some excellent reds. Last year, Johann de Wet came up to Johannesburg to launch the De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2019 at Saint, David Higgs’s go to restaurant in Sandton. Lovely occasion crowned by a sublime wine.
And now some 6 months later, the wine is performing really well.
The grapes for the De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2019 are hand harvested, early in the morning to retain as much of the freshness of flavour in the grapes. The grapes come from selected patches of vineyard which the team know are good for making an unwooded Chardonnay, where the fruit has to be able to shine on its own without the support of oak. And so it is with this wine. Once in the cellar, the bunches are destemmed and pressed. The juice is cool settled overnight, and the juice racked off the sediment in the morning. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, after which the wine lies on the lees with occasional stirring to build flavour. The wine is then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple and elegant. The Cape Vintners Classification [CVC] logo appears under the cap. In the glass, the wine is a pale buttery gold, gem bright. The American critic Robert Parker describes the wine thus “The Limestone Hill Chardonnay never sees oak, and offers impeccably pure, refreshing apple, peach and lemon fruit, a lovely leesy richness of texture, and a nutty, chalky, fruit-filled finish of imposing length. Understated and less tropical than some of the better un-oaked Australian Chardonnays, this wine possesses far better balance and sheer drink-ability – not to mention more finesse – than 99% of the world’s Chardonnay I have experienced at its price.” I couldn’t put it better. Johann de Wet adds “The key to Robertson is the high limestone content of the soils, limestone being an element ensuring chemical balance and ageing ability in the wines.” With cool cellaring for a year or two come the rewards. The wine is even-handedly priced and an excellent bang for your buck.
The De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2019 is a serious wine, a lovely expression of Chardonnay and one which needs time for gentle sipping, before a meal as an aperitif and a wine which could lead into the meal as a perfect partner to the first course. With summer now in full swing and grapes ripening on the vine, Jane-Ann Hobbs’s Chicken with Roasted Onions, Grapes & Verjuice is the perfect al fresco lunch dish, served with a crunchy crisp lettuce salad. Click HERE for her recipe.
Read more about De Wetshof Wine Estate – CLICK HERE