Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2012


Andries Burger, wine maker at the Paul Cluver Estate in Elgin, was overwhelmed when he received a commendable five star award for his Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2012 at the 2013 Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report awards ceremony last week.

No stranger to winning awards but winning the ultimate 5 stars is always a bonus for your wine. The Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report, now in its 3rd by wine fundi, Christian Eedes, in partnership with Sanlam Private Investments. The report aims to commemorate the top-end of what Eedes describes as ‘the wine with a universal following – arguably the best dry white wine in the world’.

Eedes who chaired the judging panel, selected the country’s top 10 Chardonnays after tasting through the 60 wines submitted from the 2012 vintage, some of which had fared well in recent local or international competitions, as well as wines Eedes considered to be the best in their field. “Our aim was an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the category in question, and all wines submitted received a rating and a detailed tasting note,” says Eedes.

Eedes says the stylistic variation of Chardonnays has never been wider. “There seems to be a growing realisation that to compete at the top end of the market, playing it safe is not going to cut it. Consequently, there are some really innovative, even wacky, wines out there.”

He says although in recent times the trend has been towards wines that are clean and crisp, there seems to be a shift back to making more mouth-filling, broad-flavoured wines. “There are two five-star wines in this report. The Groot Constantia 2012 has a good core of fruit, oak adding heft, bright acidity and a saline finish; and the Paul Cluver 2012 is pure and focused, with a lovely tension between concentrated fruit and a riveting line of acidity – a very classy offering.”

The Paul Cluver Wine Estate can be traced back to 1896, and although their first bottling of wine was in 1997, they were the first to set up a wine cellar in the sought after Elgin Valley. As a result, The Cluver family have been instrumental to the success and recognition of the Elgin Ward as a wine region producing exceptional quality wines. The region is abundant with water and benefits from cool onshore winds. Grape varieties grown on the farm, have been planted (with the assistance of using scientific methods) in the most suitable terroir sites on the farm.

The Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2012 shows citrus blossom fragrance along with brioche and hints of vanilla pod. The palate has fresh acidity with an invigorating mouth-feel offering citrus and buttered toast flavour with a lively finish. Delicious to enjoy now with creamy pastas, salmon and poultry, but will enjoy further maturation for another three years.

Expect to pay: R154.50

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