The wine is fresh and fragrant, with a delicate balance between crisp citrus, tropical fruits and subtle toasted oak. It is elegant with a crisp minerality stemming from the terroir and the cooling influences of the nearby Atlantic Ocean only 8km away. A great food match with rich chicken and pasta dishes.
Decanter World Wine Awards: Bronze 2014
Total Acidity: 6.4 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.7 g/l
Harvested by hand: 16 February 2011
Bottled: March 2012
Total Production: 4,380 bottles (750ml)
Ageing Potential: 5-7 years
The start of the growing season was cool, with overcast days and regular showers. None of the customary gale force winds prevailed early in the season and the vines were able to flourish, but the southeaster was out in force throughout December. Little rain was recorded from mid-November, and with unrelenting heat from January onwards, Seven Springs relied on delicate and calibrated irrigation. The ripening period was dry and warm.
The Seven Springs Chardonnay was fermented and aged in second and third fill, 300L barrels of which 20% was American oak and 80% French. These older barrels and absence of malolactic fermentation aids expression of the Chardonnay fruit. Fermentation was a combination of 40% wild and 60% inoculated with commercial yeast in the different barrels. After fermentation the wine was left to mature on the lees for 11 months to aid in the development of the creamy palate.
Planted in 2007, on South facing slopes at 220 meters elevation. The oaked Chardonnay is made from clones CY96, CY548 and P3, all of which have characters of citrus, peach and tropical fruits and have a very low yield.
This cuvée was fermented in second- and third-fill, 300-litre barrels, 20% American and 80% French, using a combination of wild and commercial yeasts. It aged a further 11 months on the lees in barrel. There is more overt oak influence than on the 2010, with toast and a whisper of Jack Daniels, all nicely nutty with a rounded lime and apple fruitiness beneath. On the palate it is a big wine with over 14% alcohol, but the acidity tempers that, and there is no sense of tropical über ripeness. There is good fruit sweetness through the mid-palate, and the oak does not dominate the finish, it adds only a gentle spice and buttery toast to the clean, mineral-etched flavours. A very different wine from the unoaked 2012, and delicious.