Unoaked Chardonnay 2012

Tasting Notes

Very pale in the glass, this wine is bright, light and fresh. With no exposure to oak the true characteristics of the Chardonnay grape have been retained. It is delicate and well balanced with citrus fruit and melon flavours. There are also hints of the natural South African flora, such as proteas and ericas, which grow on the mountain above the vineyard. Great to drink on its own or a great match with seafood, especially shellfish and chicken.

Bronze Sticker


Decanter World Wine Awards: Bronze 2014


Technical Analysis

Alcohol: 13.59%
Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/l
Total Acidity: 6.0 g/l
pH: 3.34

Harvested by hand on 21st February 2012
Total production: 6,800 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: July 2012
Ageing potential: 4-6 years


Harvest Report

The Chardonnay vines are planted on the cooler, south facing slope, in the lowest lying area on the farm at 200 meters elevation. It experiences a mush higher water table than other parts of the vineyard and as a result there is rarely need to irrigate during the season. Seven Springs Vineyard use clone 76 for their Unoaked Chardonnay. This clone’s typical organoleptic characteristics include peach and citrus. The yield is also higher than the clones used for the oaked Chardonnay.

Harvesting at optimal ripeness for the Seven Springs Unoaked Chardonnay, meant picking the grapes at lower sugar levels than for the oaked Chardonnay. This way the fresh fruit aromas and fresh acidity on the palate was retained. Picked early in the morning, with first sorting taking place in the vineyard, the fruit was processed to a clear juice and then inoculated with commercial yeast for a clean ferment. The yeast was specifically chosen to enhance and express the natural characteristics of the Chardonnay fruit.  After two weeks the alcoholic fermentation was complete and, like the Sauvignon Blanc, was left on the lees (dead yeast cells). The lees were stirred regularly to aid in the development of the mouth-feel of the wine.


Tom Cannavan July 2014

This wine vied with others in the Seven Springs portfolio as my most enjoyable. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, it is its ripeness and lees contact that gives such a lovely aroma: crushed almond melds with lemon-meringue pie, all sorts of luscious hints, but with a core of steely precision. On the palate it is full-textured and weighty, with fat lemon and lime fruit and fruit-skin tang, lots of those waxy peel notes and lovely length and concentration. Hints of spices and honeyed sweetness play against savoury and decisive, dry acidity in the finish.

buy now



Unoaked Chardonnay 2011

Produced with no exposure to oak barrels, allowing full expression of the fruit from very young vines. It has a truly tropical perfume and personifies summer in a wine glass with aromas of pineapple and passion fruit. On the palate it is rich and textured with a lingering minerality balanced with beautiful fruit flavours.

This is what Tom Cannavan from the UK wrote about the wine.
“As it says on the label, a Chardonnay fermented in steel tanks with no exposure to oak, and a new product in Seven Springs’ range, showing a restless need to explore the potential of their young vines and  this terroir. There’s an elegant perfume to this wine, with a little blossom or peach-skin fragrance, some dry apple fruit notes and a hint of something stony and mineral. On the palate it is juicy and  led by citrus and underripe apple – a quite steely, in some ways quite austere, but there is a burgeoning sense of creaminess and those peachy tones beneath the citrus tang. A nice wine that would be  joyous with some pan-fried mullet or seabass”
Unoaked Chardonnay 2011
Miguel Chan Wine Journal
Joanna Simon – Wine and Food
Colin Smith – Grapefan

Video Reviews