When I was first told of the ‘Jurassic Park’ termite nests which had calcified and added to the clay soils to create the perfect valley for producing fine wine grapes, stud racing horses and roses, I thought someone was having me on. The De Wets of De Wetshof in the Robertson Wine Appellation know of these things and the heavy clay soils rich in limestone allow the De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay to express the varietal qualities of the grape in a cloak of rich complexity. The grapes are harvested early in the mornings before the heat of the day rises in the vineyards. The grapes are taken to the cellar, destalked and crushed, after pressing the juice cold settles overnight. Fermentation and ageing take place in stainless steel tanks. The wine then lies on its lees for a while with frequent stirring, aka bâtonnage when done with a wooden baton. In big tanks, the stirring is usually done by submerged pump. Once this period of rest is over, the wine is prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is elegant De Wetshof and includes the CVC emblem around the cap. In the glass, the wine is a brightshining pale golden straw with youthful lime green flashes when help up to the light. The aromas, untramelled by oak are of pure Chardonnay. Crisp Golden Delicious apples, ripe white fleshed nectarines. The palate from entry is fresh and crisp and the flavours follow the aromas through the rich and generous midpalate into a long aftertaste where you find whispers of marzipan and the rich lees. Ready for now drinking. An impressive glass.
While the De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2020 is an ‘anytime wine’ it works well with food. Ceviche, sashimi, grilled game fish and crisp summery salads with smoked fish. Dianne Bibby’s Traditional South African Pickled Fish is a perfect weekend lunch dish served outside under a pergola. Click HERE for her recipe.
Read more about De Wetshof Wine Estate – CLICK HERE