February is the hottest month of the year in South Africa, so normally I would reach for a Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin, or even a crisp Rosé. This month, however, I was introduced to a selection of beautiful wooded Chardonnays, so I am dedicating the post to this indulgent style of white wine.
I know that a few wine snobs might scoff and mutter something about ABC (anything but Chardonnay), but personally I love this cultivar, with those floral and caramel notes on the nose and soft fruit on the palette. It also pairs easily with so many styles of food, from curries to seafood and fresh salads.
Here are some of the top Chardonnays I tasted this month.
Survivor Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2016
I tasted Survivor wines for the first time this month and I’m thoroughly charmed by their brand. This was one of my favourites from the tasting. It has this really interesting and beautiful floral nose with a hint of lime, that carries you into a lovely, soft fruity palette.
The grapes come from a low-yielding, dryland block in the Swartland region, which means higher concentration of flavours. 100% of the Chardonnay was barrel fermented in first fill French oak, and left to mature for 11 months. They also allowed the juice to ferment naturally with wild yeast, which adds a unique flavour to the wine.
I picked up soft stone fruit and pear on the palette. Try it with pork, butternut or crayfish.
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