Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Chardonnay 2008

Colour: The wine displays an attractive golden straw hue with a tinge of almost luminous lime green at the edges.
Bouquet: Typical citrussy aromas of lemon and lime zest abound and are backed up by faint nuances of almond, vanilla and a slight toastiness.
Taste: Tropical flavours are evident (although they will develop further with time) but it is the wonderful balance between the feisty lemon characters and the creamy butteriness which gives the wine such an attractive mouth-feel. The finish is fresh and elegant although the wine has the body and structure giving it wonderfully long resonance in the aftertaste.

Possibly best to pair it with grilled fish, veal, smoked chicken, salad or cream-based dishes. Ideal with Caesar salads.

variety : Chardonnay [ 100% Chardonnay ]
winemaker : Guy Webber assisted by Samantha de Morney-Huges
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 13.97 % vol  rs : 2.30 g/l  pH : 3.44  ta : 6.10 g/l  so2 : 141 mg/l  
type : White  style : Dry  
pack : Bottle  closure : Cork  

ageing : Under the correct cellaring conditions, the wine should reach its full potential by the age of about 5 years.

in the vineyard : Background
Flanked by the Helderberg and Stellenbosch Mountain, between Stellenbosch and the False Bay coast, lies an exceptional tract of land that benefits from terroirs eminently suited to the cultivation of the highest quality wine grapes. This jewel in the crown of the magnificent Stellenbosch wine-growing region is known as the Golden Triangle. At its core lies Stellenzicht.

The award-winning Stellenzicht range reserves its Golden Triangle label for those wines which most eloquently demonstrate the unique terroir of this special part of the Helderberg, home to some of South Africa's most exceptional wines.

Vineyard Location
Planted between 1990 and 1995, the vineyards where the grapes for this wine were harvested grow in decomposed granite soils at altitudes between 170 m and 180 m. The vines are all grafted onto nematode-resistant Richter 99 rootstocks and trellised on vertical five-wire systems. Winter pruning was done to two spurs but with selected "Cazenave" bearers allowing the vineyards to yield an average of 3.9 tons per hectare. The vines received supplementary irrigation at veraison and just before ripeness.

The 2008 vintage was characterised by above-average rainfall in both the preceding winter months and during the growing season. Combined with above-average day and night temperatures and little wind during the flowering period, these conditions set some interesting viticultural challenges in preventing mildew infection.

about the harvest: The grapes were harvested by hand and machine on 25 February at an average of 23.5° Balling.

in the cellar : After destalking, crushing and draining, the free-run juice was allowed to settle overnight. The clear juice was then transferred to a fresh stainless steel tank where fermentation was induced with a yeast strain (NT116) specially selected for fermentation in barrels. Just after the onset of fermentation, the wine was transferred to 500-litre barrels for the completion of fermentation. It was then kept in those barrels to mature for 12 months. Both the new (44%) and second-fill (56%) barrels were of French oak. Malolactic fermentation was initiated but only partially completed to retain some of the fresh natural acidity.

The wine, which matured on its primary fermentation lees, was stirred every two weeks. At the end of 12 months the wine was blended and cold-stabilised before 9 624 bottles were filled on 13 July 2009.

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