Fourth generation winemaker at Weltevrede Estate, outside Bonnievale, is Philip Jonker. Philip prides himself as a Chardonnay specialist as well as an excellent Cap Classique producer. Philip identified the various soil types on the estate and noted the different flavours that they impart to the Chardonnay grape. “I know the soil of Weltevrede. I grew up playing in it, as did my father and his father before him, ever since my great-grandfather bought this land in 1912.”
As a previous Chairman of the Chardonnay Forum of South Africa, and a current committee member, Philip has, for many years, been involved with extensive Chardonnay studies, including the myriad Chardonnay styles with the many permutations of terrain, clones, oak treatment, etc.
It is then no surprise to see his wines win numerous awards both locally and internationally and enjoyed by knowledgeable wine consumers. Weltevrede offers the wine lover no less than seven different styles of Chardonnay including terroir specific ones, an unwooded as well as their latest release the 2010 Vanilla Chardonnay.
The Vanilla Chardonnay is certainly an exciting new addition to the line-up and Philip explains how the Vanilla Chardonnay came to be, “Over the years, while tasting through Chardonnay barrels in our underground cellar, we would come upon some barrels displaying the most attractive vanilla notes. Our curiosity led us on a journey, exploring the source of this distinctive vanilla profile, and the seed was sown to capture this enchanting essence in a bottle……..Chardonnay grapes grown in particular limestone vineyards on Weltevrede – an ancient substrate that looks a bit like hardened nougat, ivory white porous rock of crumbly texture with calcium-rich Karoo limestone soils – were producing grapes with fleshy skins and tropical flavours like melon, mango, peach, pineapple and passion-fruit. The fruit flavours generated by this terrain could be accentuated by careful winemaking and the right choice of oak to produce an opulent wine, with the extraordinary alchemy of aromas and flavours that many are falling in love with, the Weltevrede Vanilla Chardonnay.”
“Some taste vanilla. Some get hints of butterscotch or English toffee. Some call it crème brûlée, honey, coconut or crème caramel. Others smell tropical flavours of pineapple, passion-fruit or peach”.
I found the wine delicious and enjoyed the vanilla rich caramel flavours, which had followed from similar aromas on the nose but with added subtle hints of fresh peach. I shared the bottle with friends and all agreed that this was a lovely wine which also offered amazing value. We had prepared a creamy Chicken and Mushroom pie and the flavours of both complimented each other perfectly.
Buy this wine now @ R48.00