One of the joys of being the winemaker at Delaire Graff Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, is that Winemaker Morné Vrey has a choice not only of grapes from the Estate, but that he can use grapes from outside, at times in other Appellations. However, for the Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay 2018, the mountain vineyard on the estate which creep up the slopes of Botmaskop. This is Banghoek, the cooler part of Stellenbosch.
Made at the time of the worst drought in living memory in the Western Cape, the cooler ripening period produced lighter bunches and small more intensely flavoured berries. The grapes were handpicked in the early hours over various ripening periods. Picking criteria was based on flavour to ensure optimal sugar concentration and balance of acidity. Both in the vineyard and the cellar, the bunches were sorted and the best of them went through for whole bunch pressing and fermentation in the barrel for 14 days. The wine was racked off into 225 litre, 40% new French barrels for 10 months. No batonage or malolactic fermentation took place, in order to retain freshness. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple elegant classic Delaire Graff. In the glass, if is a pale butter colour, gem bright. Waves of windfall citrus, ripe white fleshed peaches, oak with its concomitant spices, and honey comb assail the nose and the generous palate where they are joined by a golden thread of acidity which goes through into a long refreshing aftertaste. Very accessible and drinkable now, the Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay 2018 will benefit from a couple of years of cool cellaring.
Chill the wine, but not too much. This is a wonderful food wine which will find many dishes to accompany it in both the Delaire Graff Restaurant and Indochine, both on the Estate. At home Lizet Hartley’s Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Cider Cream Sauce would be a great partner for the Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay 2018. Pork is inexpensive at present, cheaper than chicken. Click HERE for her recipe.
Lizet Hartley – her website is a dream, click HERE
Read more about Delaire Graff Estate – CLICK HERE