CHAMPION CHARDONNAYS – A TIMELY CELEBRATION
Bringing home gold to Robertson Wine Valley
By Myrna Robins
Further entrenching Robertson’s reputation for world-class chardonnays, two of the region’s top estates attracted gold at the 2017 annual Chardonnay du Monde which took place at Chateau des Ravatys in Burgundy last month.
It’s congratulations to Bon Courage who was awarded gold for their unwooded Chardonnay 2016, which was also placed in the Top Ten listing of the winning wines. From the Jonker family estate Weltevrede Place of Rocks chardonnay 2016 will also sport a gold medal from the judging panels of this international prestigious competition.
The Bon Courage entry indicates that unwooded chardonnays are starting to show their mettle in major contests, emphasising what consumers have indicated : That these delightful wines, in lighter style, offer delicious fruit allied to fresh zestiness, offering ideal refreshment on hot summer days. Moderate alcohol levels are in keeping with current trends, while the wine is meant to be enjoyed young and within 18 months. Bon Courage estate, sited between the Breede river and the Langeberg range, is also renowned for its award-winning Cap Classiques, which present their fine chardonnay berries in sparkling guise.
The verdant spread of the Weltevrede estate near Bonnievale is well-known for a range of impressive chardonnays. The 2017 winner is a single vineyard wine, produced from vines rooted, as its name suggests, in broken shale ,and which spent six months in French oak with weekly batonnage. Fruity flavours are nicely balanced by flint, resulting in well-balanced mouthfuls of enjoyment, with alcohol levels kept to under 13%. Cellarmaster Philip Jonker suggests that the wine can be cellared for up to five years. This golden accolade adds further prestige to current celebrations marking the 105th anniversary of this riverside farm.
There were 706 entries from 38 countries into the 2017 Chardonnay du Monde. Some 55 gold medals were awarded, four of which came South Africa’s way, with Robertson being the only region to gain more than one.
Looking ahead to Friday May 26, which sees the wine world mark International Chardonnay Day , Robertson Wine Valley invites its many friends to experience the winning pair and then head to this inviting and peaceful vale and try several more!
The time is ripe to celebrate chardonnay.