So here we are, speeding into autumn in the UK. The fallen leaves are a beautiful golden mosaic of russets, ochres and umbers, I’ve skidded on goodness knows how many conkers (brought in by both the boys and the kittens) and winter coats are out in full force – I never need much excuse to wear mine!
Wine wise, it’s good-bye to those zippy whites, the berry fresh reds and the delicate wild strawberry rosés. And welcome back to some more substantial wine, designed to be enjoyed with more than a salad.
I’m getting autumnal with this delicious and complex chardonnay; I love it because I get quite a lot of hazelnuts and orange peel on both the nose and palate (hello Christmas!) but there’s also a good streak of citrusy fruit – albeit ripe citrusy fruit – keeping it fresh and elegant.
It’s no surprise that given this is a new world chardonnay grown in quite warm, dry climate, some of the dominant flavours are reminiscent of tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango, and there’s also quite a bit of honeyed apricot, juicy melon and nectarine. The wine has been barrel fermented which leads to beautifully integrated smoky vanilla woody tones, working with the bold fruit of the chardonnay rather than overpowering it. It’s only a baby but I could imagine it developing even more complexity – maybe more honey flavours, with dried apricots – after a couple of years longer in the bottle.
At a glance
- Style? Oaked white wine
- Where is it from? South Africa – Stellenbosch
- What’s the grape? Chardonnay
- Tastes of? Ripe apricots, pineapple, vanilla
- What food would complement it? Hard cheese, a creamy mushroom dish – we had it with Celeriac & Puy Lentils with Hazelnut Dressing