Longridge Chardonnay 1999

Ripe citrus and subtle vanilla characteristics lead to a mouth-filling array of fruit with a superb structure and a long, complex finish.


variety : Chardonnay | Chardonnay
winemaker : Ben Radford
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 13.3 % vol  rs : 2.71 g/l  pH : 3.41  ta : 6.1 g/l  
pack : Bottle  

AWARDS
Gold - Challenge International du Vin (Bordeaux, France)

ageing : Ideally 2 to 4 years from date of harvest but can be drunk earlier.

in the vineyard : The Helderberg ward is slightly cooler during the ripening period and receives 70mm less rainfall annually than Stellenbosch. Proximity to ocean: 5km, therefore the cool southeasterly winds reduce the temperature, which creates favourable growing conditions for the fruit.

Escourt & Clovelly soils. A mixture of deep red, high percentage clay and sandy soil with a clay layer at the bottom to retain water when rain is minimal; the clay is a key source of water nutrition for the vines. Vine age between 15 to 20 years.

The grapes for this Chardonnay are selected from a single vineyard on the foothills of the Helderberg mountains. Effective canopy management was critical, resulting in Chardonnay grapes with rich, succulent flavours. Organic mulching covered the soil to retain moisture. Fibre within the mulching added structure and nutrients to the soil. Yield of 4 to 8 tons per hectare.

about the harvest: Grapes were harvested in the first two weeks of February 1999. Picked at 23° Balling.

in the cellar : After de-stemming bunches and pressing, the juice was allowed to settle for 2 days. Clear juice was racked into 100% French oak (45% new) and Burgundian yeast was added. Slow fermentation occurred over a 3 month period. After racking from gross lees, the wine spent 13 months maturation on fluffy lees in Dargaud & Jaegle and Gillet barrels. 30% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrels.

Battonage occurred weekly for the first month, bi-weekly for the next three months, and then every three weeks for two months. Only the best barrels were selected for this Chardonnay. Fining and minimal filtration preceded bottling.

Maturation for 13 months in Dargaud & Jaegle and Gillet barrels.

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