The Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2015 and Seven Flags Chardonnay 2015 have both been rated as Outstanding by three of Britain’s Masters of Wine (MW). Only five other South African Chardonnays received the same rating out of a total of 120 wines tasted and reviewed for the April issue of Decanter magazine.
The panel comprised industry heavyweights, Tim Atkin MW, John Hoskins MW and Greg Sherwood MW. To be ranked as Outstanding the tasting panel allocates a score of between 95 and 97 points per wine, out of a possible 100. The reviews formed part of Atkins’ report on South African Chardonnays in which he listed the Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2015 as one of his Top Three Chardonnays.
The article refers to the fact that despite experiencing some bumps along the way, South African Chardonnays have come a long way in the last 30 years, and when planted in the right place have the potential of producing world-class wines. The Elgin Wine Valley, which is regarded as one of South Africa’s premier cool-climate wine regions, is perfectly suited to producing the world-class Chardonnays Atkin refers to, which only makes up 1,48% of the national total. In his expert summary Tim noted that there were a few surprises and a few disappointments, but overall it was a successful tasting which showcased the quality of Chardonnay in the Cape – in particular the Elgin region and the 2015 vintages.
The panel found South Africa’s stylistic reputation as being halfway between the Old World and New World, with producers understanding that there isn’t a need to not be in the ‘old’ New World of heavy, oaky Chardonnay, but rather producing a lighter more refreshing styled wine.
Although the Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2015 is sold out, the 2016 vintage is available directly from the Tasting Room at R200 per bottle. The Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2015 is also sold out, but the 2016 vintage will be available directly from the Tasting Room towards the end of April at R525 per bottle. For more information visit www.cluver.com.
Chardonnay – no longer an ‘ABC wine’, but rather a serious contender.