The famous white variety Chardonnay is grown in most winemaking countries and arguably produces the very best of dry white wines as well as the finest of champagnes.
The grape can be grown with relative ease and it is not problematic in the winery. However, in the past several followers went off the variety as they were finding copious amounts of indifferent, alcoholic and over-extracted examples being offered which is what inspired the catchphrase "ABC wine drinker", short for "Anything But Chardonnay".
Realising that the variety can generate good income for wineries, winemakers changed their approach and find it an attractive challenge to produce a Chardonnay (oaked or unoaked) of outstanding quality.
Paarl producer Glen Carlou is a winery well known for its fine oaked Chardonnays which have a reputation of consistent quality vintage upon vintage. From their Prestige range they have the Quartz Stone Chardonnay made from the oldest Chardonnay vines on the property and fermented using the wild yeasts present.
The cellar's legendary Chardonnay is from the Classic range which offers delightfully rich, creamy butterscotch flavours and favours fuller creamier styles of food. However, to celebrate their 25th harvest they have welcomed a new baby into the family with the introduction of their first unwooded Chardonnay.
This is also their first wine to be released showing off their new branding and packaging which I liked immensely. The bottle is sealed using the modern screw cap which has a classy touch by adding a raised embossed logo on its top.
Winemaker Arco Laarman ferments the wine in Glen Carlou's newly acquired French designed Nomblot egg-shaped cement tanks and once fermented leaves it for six months on its lees. The result is a delicious complex wine which Arco describes aptly as a wine which exhibits subtle green melon and lemon lime characters on the nose whilst the palate offers white peach and honey flavour with a tang of green apples.
Added to this we found a lovely rich creaminess resulting from the extended lees contact, and were happy to learn that very little preservative has being used throughout the making of the wine.
It's a perfect wine to drink with or without food and after a couple of glasses at lunch on Sunday this weekend we continued to experience the pleasure it offered with a bowl of creamy smoked salmon pasta.
Expect to pay: R90.00
To order, email Wine Concepts