Hot and Dry Vintage Delivers Classic Chardonnay
The vintage of 2016 will go down in the history of the Cape winelands as one of the hottest and driest on record. Trying as they were for viticulturists and winemakers alike, these conditions seemed to have brought out superb qualities in the Chardonnay variety growing on Backsberg Estate Cellars in Paarl. The Backsberg 2016 Chardonnay, which has just been released onto the market, is a fresh, life-affirming white wine with the classic flavours and mineral structure this noble Burgundian variety is known for.
“Chardonnay has always been one of Backsberg’s signature wines,” says Back. “My grand-father, Sydney Back, was infatuated with the variety and helped establish this cultivar in the Cape. Today it is our responsibility to continue this legacy by creating quality wines expressing terroir in the vineyard and skill and understanding in the cellar.”
The Backsberg Chardonnay is sculpted from a number of vineyards, each offering an individual component in terms of flavour profile, palate-weight, structure and ageability,” says Back. “This includes a 21 year old Chardonnay vineyard planted on a site chosen by my grand-father.”
Back says the grapes from younger vines drive fruit profile in the wine, while low-yielding older vineyards, provide a finely structured backbone and lean muscularity.
“We believe in French oak to round-off the wine, giving various degrees of wood-contact for eight months,” he says. “Big, buttery and over-oaked Chardonnays are a thing of the past, and the modern consumer loves the freshness in wines that have been judiciously oaked.
“The role of wood, however, is important in adding depth, character and complexity to the classic Chardonnay notes of pear, citrus and nuts. These all become enhanced as the wine ages, and this Chardonnay will mature beautifully over the next 10 years.”
Als 13.8% R/S 3.3 g/l TA 6.1 pH 3.3
Cellar door price: R74.00
Also available online, simply click here.