When you think about Chardonnay in SA there are 3—OK 4—names that immediately spring to mind. These are people who are making world attention grabbing Chardonnays. One of them is definitely De Wetshof in Robertson whose bi annual Celebration of Chardonnay attracts judges and commentators from all over the world. The farm makes 5 fabulous Chardonnays all of which have something to recommend them, slightly different in style and flavour, all appealing to certain palates. Their magnificent Chardonnay also plays a role in their bubbly. Think of sisters in the same family–—as a Lebanese friend of mine once said “We are all sisters but we each have our own personalities. “ And she was not kidding.
De Wetshof have just released their Finesse 2019—the 30th vintage of this wine and what a cracker it is, over delivering in every way. The first Finesse was introduced to the market in 1989 by owner Danie de Wet when SA Chardonnay makers were delivering these wines with heavy wood components, very much in the American style. He wanted to make a wine that appealed to a palate looking for something very lightly wooded, fresh and appealing, and so it has been since then. Today the winemaking is under the expert hand of son Peter, while his other son Johann takes care of the marketing.
Their Chardonnays are
BATELEUR Named after one of Africa’s most magnificent birds of prey this superb much awarded wine has come from the same single vineyard since 1991. Judicious oaking supports fabulous fruit—a treasure. R552
THE SITE This barrel fermented wine spends a year in French oak. Flashy and fresh with steely back bone, magnificent with sushi. R260
BON VALLON Unwooded with some butter notes from weekly lees stirring, deliciously complex without getting too precious. R140
FINESSE 10 months lees aging on wood results in some caramel nuances underlying rich full fruit—beautifully balanced, fresh and appealing. R150
LIMESTONE HILL I wouldn’t quite call it a quaffer but it sure goes down the old throat deliciously. Citrus notes leave one wanting more of this beautifully balanced charmer. A bargain at R100
All prices are approximate and you may do better—search them out.
DE WETSHOF ROBERTSON PHONE 023 615 1853