Cool Climate Chardonnay Tweet-Up

February 22nd, 2014 by karen

February 2014 saw a group of 14 social media wine folk gather at Caroline’s Fine Wines in Cape Town to taste 11 Cool Climate Chardonnays from Elgin producers. The event lasts about 1.5 hours where we taste through the wines in various flights and tweet our thoughts and questions which can be immediately answered by the winemakers themselves who are all based at an estate in Elgin and tasting the same wines at the same time.

A fast paced event which puts our palates and preferences to the test. The “usual suspects” from the area came out on top for the day which implies the importance of vineyard age. Those being Paul Cluver and Oak Valley along with newcomer, in brand only, Richard Kershaw. Angela Lloyd mentioned that we could open the bottle of Richard Kershaw 2012 and leave it for 24 hours to see how much this wine as to offer. Iona, Almenkerk and Sutherland also deserve a special mention with many participants enjoying these wines tremendously on the day.

Words and phrases captured on the day: “a good food wine”, “focused”, “complex & rich”, this is how I would imagine a Chardonnay should taste”, “consistent”, “site plays such a big role”, “a yodeling wine with good complexity”. The wines were all impressively balances making it easy to taste one after the other.

On the whole I believe these 11 wines showed elegance and refinement with fresh acidity and proves that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, should indeed be the focus of the Elgin Valley. Indeed, the acidity itself is a defining feature of these wines and the decreased use of malolactic ferments seems to be the way to go as it allows the wines to maintain freshness along with an underlying richness. Werner Muller, who was spokesperson for the valley at the town venue, also believes that natural ferments add a wonderful expression to this variety.

With this being the 4th Elgin Tweet-Up I’ve hosted on behalf of the valley I really do believe its the first time we saw such a strong thread running through the wines and look forward to seeing how this variety performs going forward.

For feedback from others who attended please see Malu Lambert from Wine of the Month post here and John and Lynne Ford from Main Ingredient here

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