Home > Good, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > I Find Pleasure in Chardonnay from South Africa

I Find Pleasure in Chardonnay from South Africa


I am always looking out for under $20 bottles of Chardonnay for Jenn.  While the 2009 St. Innocent, Chardonnay, Free Hill Vineyard has become our favorite of the year, at $24 it is too expensive for daily drinking.  I recently purchased and tasted these two bottles from Stellenbosch.  While both were fermented and matured in oak they are completely different wines.  The Rustenberg is a richer, fruitier style with a bit of everything that should please many people.  The Meerlust leans towards citrus flavors with interesting minerality in the aftertaste and a structured style.   My recommendation is to grab a bottle which is your style!  These bottles are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Rustenberg, Chardonnay, Stellenbosch – $18
Imported by Cape Classics.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay  sourced from 9-25 year old vines located on soils of decomposed granite.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts, underwent malolactic fermentation, then matured in 60% used Burgundy hogsheads for 12 months.  (Alcohol 14.36% vol, pH 3.4, RS 2.7 g/L, TA 5.6 g/L). The color is light straw with yellow highlights.  The nose is light to medium in strength with lively yellow fruit, a little rich, and the smallest touch of toast.  It gains a floral aroma with air.  In the mouth the fruit is brambly with yellow notes as it expands into the mouth with pear and white fruit flavors.  There is a softness midpalate as the acidity comes out, making one salivate and enjoy a touch of tannins.  Drank great over three nights.  *** Now-2015.

2009 Meerlust, Chardonnay, Stellenbosch – $20
Imported by Maison Marque & Domaines.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from 18-year-old vines located on alluvial Dundee soils.  It was fermented in 60% new Allier French oak and 40% second fill oak barrels.  Half of the barrels underwent indigenous fermentation.  It underwent malolactic fermentation before aged 12 months in barrel.  (Alcohol 13.5% vol, pH 3.48, RS 1.9 g/L, TA 6.1 g/L). The color is a light+ golden-yellow.  The nose is definitely full of citrus mixed with nuts and floral aromas.  In the mouth the wine is slightly energetic with crisp flavors of lemon.  It takes on some creaminess in the middle followed by toast notes.  There is a long minerally aftertaste that leaves some pleasing tannins on the tongue.  This is structured.  *** Now-2016.

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