With a particular love for Chardonnay, I’m always seeking to taste different interpretations of this grape. Unsurprisingly, I left behind a little of my heart in an empty bottle of Elgin Vintners‘ 2019 Chardonnay.
As I steadily venture further into the world of wine and submerge my senses in different terroirs, I’ve set my sites on the Elgin Valley. I’ve only but peeked at what this gorgeous stretch of fertile hills might hold. Up to now, it has lay unexplored in front of me, waiting for me to taste its fruits.
Recently, I was invited to savour a bottle of Elgin Vintners‘ 2019 Chardonnay. With each sip, I realised that I have an unexplained and irrevocable affinity with wines from this high-lying region.
In the heart of the Elgin Valley, nestled between vineyard rows, orchards of apples and pears, lies the home of Elgin Vintners on the Elgin Orchards farm which dates back to 1890.
Elgin Vintners have a deep connection with and understanding of their vineyards and terroir. Meticulous care is taken of their vineyards which produce well-balanced grapes packed with flavour. This process takes a whole season and their role as vintners is to capture this flavour in every glass (https://elginvintners.co.za/philosophy/).
Elgin Vintners’ 2019 Chardonnay
I found the oaking on this Chardonnay to be a true piece of art. Clean, sharp lines, but with a full-mouth feel that leaves you with a luxurious creaminess on the palate.
Tasting notes: The nose leads with white stone fruit, minerality, and the lemon and limey notes that we have come to associate with Elgin Chardonnays. A broad, rich palate on which citrus explodes in your mouth combined with some fresh kiwi fruit flavours. Nicely balanced with a lively fruit acidity and subtle wooding lend a satisfying, lengthy and textured finish.
In the vineyard: A cool area, situated 12-20 km from the sea
In the cellar: Staying true to the Burgundian roots of the Chardonnay grapes, all the wood selected was sourced from Burgundian coopers. The wine was prepared for bottling after 8 months in wood
Cellaring potential: Whilst it shows much poise and elegance at present, this wine will reward you with further careful and patient maturation.
Cellar door price: approx. R203 per bottle from their online shop
Caramelised butternut soup
The satisfying and signature citrus notes of the Chardonnay hinted at elements of my food pairing. A great advocate for Chardonnay during winter, I thought a caramelised butternut soup would be a great companion for a glass of two.
Roasting the butternut in the skins, I allowed for some natural caramelisation of the sugars, lending a gorgeously nutty taste to the butternut. Blended with braised red onions, fresh orange juice and just a sprinkle of paprika, this soup was hearty and fragrant, much like it’s waiting dinner partner.
The beautiful fruit acidity of the wine cut through the richness and density of the soup, harmonising with the toastiness of the butternut.
This oaked Chardonnay would also do well with rich, indulgent dishes and cheeses, especially cream-based sauces or mature cheese.
Without a doubt one of the finest Chardonnays I’ve tasted to date. It was so different, so unexpected, so rewarding.
I’m starting to slowly understand the impact of terroir and growing conditions on the vines that carry your future wine. Wind, altitude, slope, soil, seasons – they all play a pivotal role in creating the vintner’s perfect ensemble. Wine-making is a carefully constructed orchestra, each instrument hand-picked and placed, with the Elgin Valley as its amphitheatre. And Elgin Vintners the conductor of a great Chardonnay.
Thank you so much, Elgin Vintners, for giving me a taste of what your lush valley holds, and for gifting me with a Chardonnay which is now one of my favourite indulgences.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.
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