De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2013
Winery Location: 112 Plattekloof Road, Panorama
Cellarmaster: Charles Hopkins
Winemaker: Elzette du Preez
Background: De Grendel is a sprawling farm on the outskirts of Durbanville owned by the Graaf family. Their winemaking team is headed up by cellarmaster Charles Hopkins who is obsessed with quality and this shows with the continued success he has with his wines. However, not content with only making wines from the De Grendel vineyards, Charles saw the potential of producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Witzenberg region near Ceres where the extended Graaf family have a fruit farm, and so an agreement was made to make land available for vineyards.
“The fact that the grapes come from a vineyard on top of the Witzenberg Mountains, has special significance for us,” says De Villiers Graaff, director of De Grendel Wines.
“The family has a long history in Ceres, starting with my great uncle Dawie, and now cousin Pieter and brother Robert farming there. The area is unique in the Western Cape and a perfect terroir for chardonnay grapes. Charles and his team took their time to create the wine.
“The conditions on this apple farm proved to be perfect. Cultivated at very high altitude (964m) in soft shale, together with very cold temperatures ideal for late ripening, the grapes captured all the positive characteristics needed to make a benchmark chardonnay,” Charles relates.
The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks (40 percent) and oak barrels (60 percent) and completed its journey before blending by lying in barrel for eight months on the lees.
Result: The result is a complex wine with fresh citrus aromas which leads to creamy, silky lemony flavours with subtle hints of butterscotch. The cool climate minerality kicks in on the dry yet fresh finish
When to drink: Now until 2018
Drink with what: We enjoyed the wine with Cape rock lobster, langoustine, sea bass and a rich risotto, cooked in a stock reduction of roasted seafood shells and chardonnay, prepared by De Grendels Chef, Ian Bergh.
Expect to pay: R163.00
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