La Bri is a bijou of a winery up in the eastern end of the Franschhoek Valley in the Franschhoek Wine Appellation. Surrounded by almost Alpine mountains going straight up into the sky, very impressive, brooding benignly over the estate and its vineyards. Irene de Fleuriot, General Manager and Winemaker of La Bri and her team, produce a range of the most sublime wines, one of which is the La Bri Chardonnay 2017. The wine outdid itself in the Prescient Chardonnay 2018 Report in October by being scored 94 out of a hundred. A big achievement, and so deserved, the wine is wonderful.
The grapes for the La Bri Chardonnay 2017 come from a single 26-year Chardonnay block on the Estate. Once harvested by hand, the grapes are taken to the cellar and chilled overnight to retain the wonderful fruity Chardonnay character. The bunches were whole pressed, and the juice allowed to settle. The juice was then racked off its gross lees and taken to French oak barrels, 48% of them new. Fermentation takes place using the natural vineyard yeasts and selected inoculation. Once fermented, the wine lies on the lees for three months. It is then taken back to barrels for a further 12 months before being prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle under natural cork. The label has a floral theme, like all La Bri Wines. This label depicts the Clivia Miniata, a bright yellow flower, the colour of the wine, and also has tropical floral aromas. In the glass, it is a gem bright gold. The aromas are of sweet tropical limes and poached quinces. These overflow on the generous palate which, from entry, has a golden thread of acidity running into the long and gently waning aftertaste. The butter biscuit flavours and the mineral petrichor all intermingle with the fruit and the well applied oak.
This is a big wine which begs for food. I always feel that a buttery roasted organic chicken is such a good partner to a wine like this. The wine complimenting the buttery chicken fond. For Alida Ryder’s Pan Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Butter, La Bri Chardonnay 2017 is the perfect match. Click here for her recipe.
Listen to my 60 second Fine Music Radio podcast – CLICK HERE
Read more about La Bri Wine Estate – CLICK HERE