I tasted that new release on Friday the 31st October during a South Africa Young Skal Club dinner function at the Cape Malay Restaurant, of The Cellars Hohenort hotel.
As it is part of protocol to taste any wine before service especially for a function to avoid changing a whole set of glasses...........................I duly apply to my Sommelier task of tasting each bottle to be served.....
Well I was amazed by the sheer quality and complexity of that Chardonnay that remind me of the older style of Cape Chardonnay especially those made between 1997 and 2001, ( a style that’s between the buttery character of a Meursault or Chassagne Montrachet in a ripe year added to the fruitiness and concentration evoking grapes grown in sunny and warm condition as well as the opulence of some Californian Chardonnays ) the one in particular was the 1998 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay, in those days I only have about 3 years experience in the hospitality industry, under my belt and still learning the rudiment of the trade and that style was one of my favourite to recommend and sell, whenever I had to recommend an elegant, wooded and buttery chardonnay from the New World......... those days with a salary of approx R 1000 a month, it was passion, hard work and love of the people to provide excellence in service everyday as the main motivation and learning to understand the psychology of wine connoisseurs spending a glamour holiday under the tropical sun.
We have to create the experience, money and earning was never and will never be the main motivation to be a Sommelier, it grows with the experience..........and trust we get from our clientele................
Back to the Rhinofields Chardonnay
The 2007 vintage of Rhinofields Chardonnay were made by Cellar Master Martin Moore and assistant Gunther Kellerman from 100 % Durbanville grown grape, fully ripe grapes were hand harvested in February from trellised and low yielding vineyards of 2 different block picked at between 24 & 26 Balling.
50 % were fermented in stainless steel tank on the lees for 6 month to retain freshness, the other 50 % percent were in Mercurey French oak and Radoux American oak, for 10 month both tight grain, medium toast before blending and bottling, the results....
“Bright straw with slight hint of green tinge, no fizz. Classic Chardonnay aromas of ripe pears,fresh apricots, burnt citrus, and subtle vanilla oak, multi layered complexity.
Good attack and acidity, fresh, leesy with creamy texture, citrus medley and vanilla follow through, very good concentration, medium bodied, oak very well in balance and supportive of the fruit, touch clay minerality adds interest, well made and over deliver on price.
Great restaurant wine, so well made that I listed it immediately.
From 2010 until 2015
This will be a great compliment with pan seared loin of veal with glazed organic spring root vegetables such as carrots & turnips and citrus confit Beurre Blanc emulsion–
Food suggestions by TOMATO CATERING