Paul Cluver Chardonnay
Elgin, South Africa
Vineyards and Vines
Currently there are 15.32 hectares planted to Chardonnay on the estate, which equates to 18.7% of the total plantings. Clones include 175, 270, 95 and 548. The first vines were planted in 1987 and the youngest blocks in 2004. Vines range in age from 5 to 23 years. The soil is predominantly decomposed Bokkeveld Shale with underlying clay layers of varying depths. Vine orientation is East/West on the South east facing slopes and North/South on the South- South West facing slopes. Height above sea level ranges from 280 to 350 meters.
A great vintage – with a very healthy crop. Harvesting started 25 February and continued until 1 March. Average yield was 7 tons per hectare and grapes came in at 22.5° - 22.7° Brix.
This wine was 100% wild fermented in a selection of French oak barrels. (40% new, the rest 2 3 and 4 fill.) Lees stirring and barrel rolling was implemented, but to a much lesser degree than previous years. The wine remained on the lees for a total of nine months without any Sulphur addition. Limited malolactic fermentation occurred (less than 15%), all without inoculation. After tasting and blending trials, the wine was assembled from the best barrels, stabilised and prepared for bottling.
No overt wood characters on the nose. Subtle citrus fruit and citrus blossom fragrances are apparent, with hints of vanilla pod and almond flakes. These characteristics follow through onto the palate, which is noticeably ‘pebbly’. The fine, fresh acidity is natural, and adds poise and focus to the wine.
Fish, poultry, pork and game bird dishes work well with this wine. It works particularly well with creamy pastas and salmon dishes. The good acidity and balance between wood and fruit keeps the wine from being overly rich and consequently great without food too.
Average Price: $16.99