The Robertson Wine Valley is not only the famous home of some of the finest Chardonnays, but one of the variety’s proudest ambassadors – Van Loveren Family Vineyards.
When it comes to my little hedonistic heart, I hold many things very dear to it. Two things in particular (although they come as no surprise) is the Van Loveren wine estate and the Chardonnay varietal in it’s gorgeous entirety.
Now, when I am gifted with not one, but two bottles of Chardonnay from Van Loveren, that is when I switch into full celebration mode. What does that mean to me? We tie our apron strings and skip to the kitchen to prepare a feast.
I was sent two bottles of Chardonnay – the Christina Chardonnay 2018 and the Rhino Run Chardonnay 2019.
Van Loveren’s first Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1979 – at the very start of South Africa’s Chardonnay boom. Its first bottled wine that was made from the grape was launched in 1983. In fact, the quality of the soils and diversity of terroir of the region is such that the celebrated winery established in 1937, today not only utilises Chardonnay in a variety of blends, but also has a chardonnay flagship wine at the head of each of the Van Loveren, Tangled Tree, Zandvliet, Rhino Run and Christina ranges (press release).
Christina Chardonnay 2018
The Christina Chardonnay is a premium quality, full-bodied and oak matured wine.
Tasting notes: typical citrus and buttery aromas, with notes of toasty oak derived from the use of new French oak barrels.
In the vineyard: 100% Chardonnay
In the cellar: Fermented & matured in 100% new French Oak barrels for 5 months. Regularly stirred on the lees to enhance mouth feel & body.
Cellaring potential: Will gain complexity with 3 to 4 years of bottle maturation.
2018 Decanter International Awards 88/100 (2017 vintage)
2018 Platter Guide Awards 4 Stars
2017 Decanter International Awards 86/100 (2016 vintage)
2017 Platter Guide Awards 4 Stars
2017 Mundus Vini Award Silver (2016 vintage)
2017 Tim Atkin SA Report 89/100 (2016 vintage)
2017 Platter Guide 4 Stars
Cellar door price: approx. R139.99 per bottle
Rhino Run Chardonnay 2019
Rhino Run Chardonnay is a medium-bodied wine – dry and well balanced.
Tasting notes: clean citrus spritz on the nose, and light smoke and nuttiness on the palate.
In the vineyard: 100% Chardonnay
In the cellar: Fermented and matured for 5 months on 100% French Oak staves
Cellaring potential: Two years
2017 Gold – Gold Wine Awards
Cellar door price: approx. R74.99 per bottle
To read my review on Van Loveren’s Perlé de Jean, please click here!
To read my review on Van Loveren’s other Rhino Run wines, please click here!
Spice and all things nice
I’m infatuated with the smorgasbord of flavours found in Oriental cuisine. I’m also particularly inclined to different textures, spice and anything flavourful that entices the taste buds. Because both these Chardonnays are rich and indulgent, I wanted something that will break through the velvet mouth-feel and challenge it with a contradictory flavour profile.
Confident that these two Chardonnays can stand strong against a bit of a challenge, I decided on an Asian-influenced pork stir-fry. Infused with lashings of citrus and lime zest, crunchy spring onions and freshly torn coriander, I tempered it slightly with a glossy teriyaki sauce and creamy egg noodles. I ramped up the heat again with freshly chopped red chillies to build up the layers of flavour.
The end result was pretty spectacular, contrary to popular belief. The stir-fry was light and fresh, yet zingy and spicy in all the right quantities. The more subtly oaked Rhino Run Chardonnay was perfectly suited to the soy-soaked slivers of pork. The more robust Christina Chardonnay’s crowning glory was the hints of fresh ginger, glossy egg noodles and the delicate strips of red pepper. Rather than overpower, the bright Asian flavours mingled beautifully between the complex layers of both the Chardonnays, allowing for a sociable hum of happiness in your mouth.
Van Loveren‘s wide range of wines and wine ranges truly showcases the best of the Robertson Valley. You are guaranteed to find a bottle that you fall in love with head over heels. If you’re me, you’ll fall for every single bottle.
Thank you, Van Loveren, for always spoiling me with the best of your fruits, and for allowing me to share the love with others.
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.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.