Tasting Notes
Chardonnay does not like extreme heat and definitely benefits from the cooler temperatures of the Hemel en Aarde valley.  Yields were significantly down in 2018 but this resulted in a very expressive wine. Slightly richer in colour and texture than the unoaked chardonnay, this wine offers a depth and richness on the palate which is superbly balanced by the minerality of the fruit and 100% natural acidity. Delightful pale-straw colour with a hint of lime-citrus, butter-scotch mid-palate gives way to a fresh, flinty and bone-dry finish. Clean and refreshing. 

This wine has depth and will certainly go perfectly with food. Perfect serving temperature is vital and we recommend 14-16°C.  Charcuterie, poultry, fish dishes with rich sauces, asparagus wrapped in parma ham, will all go well with this one. Best of all, pull a rock-lobster out of the ocean, grill it on a braai (bbq) and wash it down with a glass of this Oaked Chardonnay. Finger-licking-good!! 
 

Technical Analysis
Alcohol: 13.5% Residual Sugar: 2.5 g/l Total Acidity: 5.7 g/l pH: 3.33
Harvested by hand 12th February 2018 Bottled: December 2018
Ageing potential: 8-10 years Production: 3.088 bottles (750ml).

Harvest Report and Vinification 
The grapes were picked on the 12th February, early in the morning, with the first selection of bunches being conducted in the vineyards (any unripe, sun-burnt, rotten or bird-damaged bunches were cut and dropped on the floor). Once the 20kg picking cases reached the cellar (1km away) they were loaded directly into the cooling room and brought down to about 12⁰C. The grapes were then sent along a sorting table, to remove anything that may have been missed by the vineyard pickers.  It’s amazing to see how the vines react of the geographical and climatic parameters of the vintage and this year we had a bit of everything – coulure (lack of berries due to wind and rain in spring), millerandages (smaller berries due to damp conditions during flowering) and less bunches. Also, the bunches were less compact, had thicker skins and less juice, resulting in more concentration of flavour and less volume. 

From the sorting table the berries were sent directly to the press, where the juice was separated and sent to a settling tank over-night. The following morning the clear juice was racked to a separate stainless-steel tank and inoculated with a Burgundian yeast. Once inoculated, the juice was then racked into French oaked barrel, to ferment on its gross-lees. After about ten days, the fermentation was complete and the wines were left to mature on their gross-lees for a further 6 months. The wine was then assembled into a tank, then racked back into the original barrels, without the gross lees. The wine remained in barrel for a further two months prior to bottling in December 2018.