I recently had the unique experience of spending about 3 hours with Martin Moore, Founding Cellar Master of Durbanville Hills Winery, in his 22nd harvest. Winemakers always know how many harvests they have done. We tasted some of the current vintages and then some vintages about to be released. Martin and his team really produce sublime wines. We were joined by Wilhelm Coetzee, the red wine specialist, who came with an arm full of his reds about to be released, so that we could help him write up the tasting notes for these wines which are now being prepared for entering into competitions.
For the Durbanville Hills Chardonnay 2018, the grapes from various of their 9 grape suppliers, mostly from the lower slopes of the Valley. Each vineyard was individually vinified for later blending. The bulk of the wine was fermented in steel tanks and left on the lees for four months to accentuate the pronounced fruit character. A total of 10% of the wine was fermented and matured for four months on tight grain French oak staves with a medium toasting which adds complexity and subtle oak flavours without dominating the fruit.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle and closed with a screw cap. The label in the traditional lozenge shape with an etching of Table Mountain. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw with flashed of lime green. The aromas jump out of the glass at you. Windfall citrus, desiccated pineapple, fresh white fleshed peaches, soft sundried apricot and Granny Smith Apple. The palate is full and generous with a lovely line of fruit acidity from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Here you will find Elberta peaches, again, sweet tropical pineapple and a lovely taste of grapefruit skin oil. A truly sublime glass.
The Durbanville Hills Chardonnay 2018 should not be served too cold in order to show its best side. There are so many dishes perfect for this wine. Roast Buttery Chicken, a tranche of SASSI friendly Hake, pan fried in lemon and parsley butter or deep-fried pork served with a gentle Mandarin Chinese sweet & sour sauce. Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Macaroni Cheese is a perfect partner. Click here for her recipe.
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