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Lothian Vineyards Chardonnay 2017
The cool climate of Elgin is ideal for producing elegant Burgundian-style whites and this example from Lothian Vineyards is no exception. This stunning wine is made with top quality grapes from the estate’s three blocks of Chardonnay vines which are harvested by hand at optimal ripeness. On arrival at the winery the grapes are pressed as whole bunches and allowed a period of skin contact to add complexity and structure to the wine.
Following fermentation in stainless steel tanks to preserve the graceful varietal character, the young wine is transferred to French oak barrels for 10 months. The result is a richly-flavoured white wine with enticing notes of white peach, apricot, vanilla, and lemon zest. On the palate there is a full body, intense flavours, and firm structure which will help the wine to age gracefully over the next five years or so.
Lothian Vineyards sits on the banks of the Palmiet River and boasts perfectly-sited vineyards planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Riesling. This stunning estate was born of the Wilson family’s long search to find the ideal spot to produce Burgundian-style red and white wines and now produces some of Elgin’s most elegant bottlings.
Lothian Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017
The Lothian Vineyards estate is centered around the architectural gem of Lothian House on the banks of the Palmiet River. The Wilson family who own the property spent years searching for the perfect site to craft elegant Burgundian-style wines before discovering this slice of paradise in Elgin.
Once an area famed for its apple orchards, Elgin offers the ideal base for producing wines with real finesse and grace thanks to the proximity to the Southern Ocean which moderates the climate. With three generations of grape growing and winemaking behind them, the Wilsons focus on crafting the best wines possible from the exceptional cool climate conditions here.
On the nose this sublime Pinot Noir displays subtle notes of dark cherries, sweet spices, and hints of bay leaf. The first sip reveals a medium body, well-balanced tannins, and seductive crushed berry flavours. The wine is aged in 20% new and 80% used oak barrels for 11 months to add complexity and toasty notes to the finished wine. Fresh and elegant in character, this cool climate Pinot Noir is an excellent partner for Italian dishes like fresh pasta served with a rich tomato-based sauce or a generous platter of cheeses and charcuterie.
Beaumont Pinotage 2016
Although best known for their deliciously vibrant and full-flavoured whites made from Chenin Blanc, the Beaumont estate also produces limited quantities of red wines from the Pinotage grape. Pinotage was actually the first wine made at Beaumont and this bottling is a stunning example of cool climate Pinotage made from 45 year old vines. The grapes are vinified in concrete tanks and then aged in oak barrels for 18 months to soften Pinotage’s notoriously firm tannins.
The result is a well-built, intensely fruited red wine with ample dark berry and cherry character which lingers on the tongue. The structure, fine balance, and subtle freshness of this wine make it an excellent match for red meat and it will continue to develop and evolve if cellared over the next decade or so.
Beaumont was founded in 1994 when Jayne and her late husband Raoul decided to leave the local co-operative system to produce their own wines from start to finish. The couple renovated the stunning property at Compagnes Drift which had formerly been an 18th century outpost for the Dutch East India Company and began to bottle their wines here. Recently the running of the estate has passed to Sebastian, the couple’s son, who has worked tirelessly to establish a reputation for crafting exceptional wines.
Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2016
The Jordan story began in 1982 when Ted and Sheelagh purchased the 164 hectare estate in Stellenbosch and began to replant the land with varieties which were best suited to the local terroir. In 1993 Ted and Sheelagh’s son, Gary, and his wife Kathy took over the running of the estate and set the winery on a path to producing world-class wines.
Gary and Kathy focus their attention on the natural advantages of their vineyards which are blessed with a pleasant Mediterranean climate and need little intervention in the winery to produce outstanding wines. The hot summers are cooled by breezes and early morning mists coming from the nearby Atlantic and Indian Oceans which helps to preserve a balancing acidity in their wines.
Made with grapes sourced from the couple’s top vineyard, the Chardonnay vines used for this wine face south and east which helps to moderate temperatures and create an delicate aromatic character in the grapes. The result is a vibrant and elegant Chardonnay which bursts with fresh lime and lemon zest along with gentle hints of vanilla from the barrel fermentation and 11 months of maturation on the lees. The first sip reveals a rich creamy texture and intense fresh tropical fruit flavours which linger long on the tongue.
Jordan Cobblers Hill 2015
Set on the site of a historic 300-year old farm in the idyllic surroundings of Stellenbosch Kloof, the Jordan estate’s modern incarnation as a top South African producer began in 1982 when Ted and Sheelagh purchased the 146 property in 1982. The couple extensively replanted the 146 hectare farm and carefully selected varietals which were a good match for the local soil and climatic conditions. Gary and Cathy Jordan, the couple’s son and daughter-in-law, spent a couple of years working internationally to learn the winemaking trade before returning home in 1993 to take over the running of the estate.
This unique wine honours the Jordan family’s history as talented cobblers and is a limited release wine crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. The unique climatic conditions of Stellenbosch Kloof make this an excellent area for growing these Bordeaux varietals as the vineyards enjoy a Mediterranean climate cooled by early morning mists and breezes from the nearby False Bay. The result is perfectly-balanced, aromatic grapes that are both ripe and concentrated as well as fresh and spicy.
The intense dark cherry, blackcurrant and cacao character of this wine make it an excellent partner for hearty dishes like steak or beef bourguignon. If you prefer to wait a while, thanks to the 24 months of ageing this is a complex wine which will mature well in the cellar over the next decade or so.
Beaumont Chenin Blanc 2019
This vibrant unoaked Chenin Blanc is a fantastic example of the zesty white wines coming out of South Africa today. On the nose there are seductive hints of lemon, honeysuckle, and white peaches, while the first sip offers a vivacious freshness, light body, and intense stone fruit and citrus flavours. The grapes are vinified in stainless steel tanks which helps to showcase the delicious fruit character of the Chenin Blanc variety and preserves the natural freshness.
The pure, clean character of this wine makes it an excellent aperitif to serve poolside or in the garden on a hot summer’s day. It also combines well with sushi, salads, and an array of fresh seafood and fish dishes thanks to the citrus flavours and mouthwatering acidity.
The Beaumont estate was born in 1994 when Jayne and her late husband Raoul left the local co-operative system to strike out on their own. They renovated the property at Compagnes Drift which had formerly been an 18th century outpost for the Dutch East India Company. In recent years the couple’s son, Sebastian, has taken on the running of the estate and established a reputation for exceptional Chenin Blanc wines.