Crush – 100 South African Wines to drink now, #6, Pasarene Chardonnay 2016…

Pasarene Chardonnay 2016, my Crush#6

I recently met Martin Smith, the owner of Pasarene Winery in Franschhoek. A 3rd generation winemaker, Martin completed his Viticultural and Oenological degree at Stellenbosch University’s Elsenburg Agricultural College. Travels took Martin to Portugal as a guest of Amorim Cork, to five years at Cosentino Winery in California’s Napa Valley. After Cosentino, Martin worked at Caldwell Winery, where he worked with many high-profile winemakers, such as Tim Mondavi and Phillipe Melka. Another five years rolled past and Martin had to make a decision about whether to stay in the United States or come back to South Africa. He was then offered a job as wine-maker at Vilafonté with well-known American Winemaker, Zelda Long, which after six years, he describes as his final step towards starting Paserene.

Martin Smith, Owner & Winemaker at Pasarene Winery

We tasted Martin’s 2017 vintage of the Paserene Chardonnay. The 2016 is still available.

From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed under natural cork and the top of the bottle dipped in white wax. The label has an artist’s image of Mother Nature, simple, also in white. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw with lime green flashes.  The aromas are of citrus, lemon zest, sweet tropical limes, fresh white peaches and orange blossom. The palate is rich and generous with an undertow of the tight grain Burgundy barrels, 30% of which were new. From entry, a crisp thread runs through to the long lasting aftertaste. I like the ‘gentleness’ of the wine which is a reflection of Martin’s time in California.

This is a gentle sipping wine, before and into a meal. It will be great with an organic butter roasted chicken, and Oriental foods.

Read more about Pasarene Winery – CLICK HERE