Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay 2014 & Jane-Anne Hobbs’s Henna Stencilled Cheese – 29.12.2016

Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay 2014

The little valley which has now become renowned because of the Durbanville Hills Winery was my playground when I was a little boy and used to cycle up and down it on my big black Raleigh with its fat black tyres.  My parents and their friends worked the wine farms in the valley.

Chardonnay Grapes ripening on the vine

The grapes for the Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay 2014 were sourced from two of the nine Durbanville Hills member farms. The vineyards are low yielding and trellised. In all instances, the grapes were picked fully ripe after selective crop control during the growing season.

The two vineyards were separately vinified with sixty percent was fermented in stainless steel tanks between 12º and 15ºC and left on the lees for six months, racked and tank matured for another six months.  The wine was mixed with the lees occasionally to impart freshness and a full body that would not be overwhelmed by wood.

Founding Cellar Master of Durbanville Hills, Martin Moore

The balance was crushed and partially fermented in stainless steel tanks before being transferred to a variety of new and second fill barrels and racked off the fermentation lees after two months. The wine was matured for a further 10 months on its fine lees in the barrels which were rolled every fortnight to enhance exposure to the lees. There is a reduction in the ingress of oxygen into the wine and an enhancement of the oak extraction if the barrel is kept closed. The technique has imparted a deliciously creamy texture to the wine and ensured a seamless integration with oak.

It looks like
Packed under screw cap in a Burgundy shaped bottle as is fitting.  Elegant labelling for this flagship range. In the glass a gem bright pale yellow straw.

It smells like
Windfall citrus, marmalade on toast and soft sundried apricots.

It tastes like
Fabulous citrus and stone fruits. Pleasant undertow of spice from the oak.  Medium of body with the fruit, acidity and oak all well interwoven in harmony. Elegant long and slowly waning aftertaste.

Jane-Anne Hobbs’s Henna Stencilled Cheese

It’s good with
This is a serious sipper rather than a quaffer. It is happy with chicken, pork and baby beef dishes, pasta with creamy sauces and the Cheeseboard, when offered with white wine is a great new experience. While I was writing this and thinking about a pairing, I remembered that Jane-Anne Hobbs had made a lovely stencilled cheese for the launch of her book Scrumptious. Click here for the method.

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