‘Out of Africa, always something new’ said Pliny the Elder, Roman Author and Philosopher. Had he been around now, he would have said ‘Out of Durbanville Hills, always something new.’ Martin Moore, Durbanville Hills’s founding Cellarmaster recently released a range of wines called The Collector’s Reserve. Amongst them, my wine of the day today, The Durbanville Hills Collector’s Reserve The Cableway Chardonnay 2017.
Durbanville Hills is situated at the end of a small valley, on a promontory overlooking Table Mountain, Table Bay and Robben Island, and now part of the new Wine Appellation, Cape Town. Strengthening the link between the winery and Cape Town, is this wine. The Collector’s Reserve uses well known Cape Town Landmarks, and then the winery appointed Theo Vorster to impart his vision of the landmarks on to the labels. When you arrive in the City Bowl, one of the landmarks, providing Table Mountain is not covered in its tablecloth of cloud, is the Cableway Station at the top right of the mountain. Often you can see the cable cars moving up and down.
The grapes for The Durbanville Hills Collector’s Reserve The Cableway Chardonnay 2017 were selected from two 15-year-old blocks on the open Western side of the valley, one facing west which has good sun exposure and the other a cooler south west facing. Cooling breezes from the Benguela Current and mists help the grapes ripen slower, hence fuller flavours in the wine. The grapes were hand-picked when the berries became translucent and you could see the seeds inside – this is a ripeness indicator for Chardonnay. After destalking and crushing the settled juice was taken to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. When a third of the fermentation was complete, 60% of the fermenting juice was taken to French oak barrels, placed on rollers so that the barrels could be rolled instead of undergoing batonnage. This results in less oxygen contact. No malolactic fermentation took place. Barrel selection by Martin Moore and Kobus Gerber, the winery’s white wine maker, took place before the final blending and preparation for bottling without filtration.
Bottled under screw cap in a Burgundy shaped bottle with the enchanting Theo Vorster illustration on the side of the label. In the glass, the wine is a golden straw colour with youthful flashes of lime green. The aromas are of windfall oranges, desiccated pineapple and sweet winter melon. The wine has the oak in undertow and from entry billows out into the mid palate in a full-bodied wine, with a mélange of delicious citrus and tropical fruits. Always interesting for me to come across a creamy texture in a wine. It’s here.
Delicious as a sipper at sundown. The Durbanville Hills Collector’s Reserve The Cableway Chardonnay 2017 is perfect food wine that partners poultry perfectly. Also, seafood, and in particular Alida Ryder’s Prawn Cocktail Salad. Lovely retro dish. Click here for her recipe.
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