Eikendal Chardonnay 2017

The legend of Eikendal's flagship continues. Cellar Master Nico Grobler is creating a legacy, a narrative with his visionary approach to a true Burgundian style Chardonnay. On the nose faint whiffs of jasmine and apple blossom with a delightful freshness and flintiness on the pallet. The wine shows a tight finish and a mineral core resulting in a long finish.

Pair with Crab and Prawns, Fish Pates, Risotto with Spring Vegetables.

variety : Chardonnay [ 100% Chardonnay ]
winemaker : Nico Grobler
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 13.0 % vol  rs : 1.9 g/l  pH : 3.23  ta : 6.4 g/l  
type : White  style : Dry  body : Medium  taste : Mineral   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 750ml  closure : Cork  

AWARDS
2019 Top 100 SA Wines Double Platinum
2019 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show - Silver

ageing : Up to three-five years.

in the vineyard : 20% Elgin Clone CY 277, 60% Eikendal Clone CY 95, 96 and 20% from Klein Moerbei (STB) CY 548. Elgin Smarag CY 277 – The Bone Structure: This is just the most beautiful vineyard. Planted in a valley very close to a dam in “koffieklip” (coffee stone) with high clay content, it has very cold evenings and more humid days for Elgin. Highly exposed to wind and with medium vigour it fits perfectly for this clone. I use CY 277 (MCC clone) which is mostly used in SA for MCC, specifically for Chardonnay for its high acidity and perfumed profile. The block is not irrigated and so vines are in survival mode all the time bringing us closer to that mineral core that we are searching for. This block is planted 2.4m x 1.2m and is in a VSP system. Eikendal – The Marriage between Granite and Bush Vine: These blocks are planted way up the Helderberg Mountain and are on the highest point of Eikendal overlooking False Bay. It is a combination of bush vines, bush vine/post with no trellised vineyards used. Spur pruned. Yield 1 kg/vine. Plant density is between 5,000 to 7,500 vines/ha. Planted east/west.

Vines only receive post-harvest irrigation. It is planted in decomposed granite with gravel and white clay +/- 60-80cm deep. Fully exposed to the south-easterly winds and receive cool air from False Bay. This is the perfect area for growing Chardonnay. The approach to growing these vines always keeps them in survival mode. These vines undergo harsh treatment and left to their own devices, surviving day to day. There are no big flavours or big tannins but rather pure granite in a bush vine bunch. The perfect marriage. Klein Moerbei – CY 548 – Stone: CY 548 is an old Burgundian clone which is not widely planted in SA due to low yields but is extreme in quality. The grapes are bought grapes from KM but the vineyard is tended to by Nico Grobler. It is in sandy/alluvial soils and irrigation was stopped four years ago. The effect is decreased growth and vigour and a vineyard in survival mode. The block is trellised and planted 2.4m x 1.2m (3,333 vines/ha). This is from the bottom section of the block where the vines are really struggling. It creates a stone character with an intense mineral core. Eikendal Chardonnay is produced from 2 different areas, 3 different farms, 4 different clones, 7 different vineyards (Biggest block 1Ha). In doing so, I have created a small Burgundy for myself. That is where complexity starts.

in the cellar : The different vineyards are very small individual vineyards ranging from 0.2Ha-1Ha. One to three barrels are produced from a site. All are individually crafted with its own unique character and blended together after 12-14 months. All vineyards are handpicked and cooled down to 1'C before entering the cellar for whole bunch pressing. Settled overnight and racked to stainless steel tanks where the spontaneous fermentation will start. 50% of the fermentation is completed in stainless steel tanks and then the must is moved to barrel. Each block has its own unique batch of barrels. 80% of the barrels are custom made by Burgundian Winemaker Bruno Lorenzon from the forest Pierre du Bourgogne and 20% is from Stephane Chassin. Bruno Lorenzon barrels are untoasted; this gives extreme purity and tightness on palate. Chassin gives a flinty, salt-like character. Previous vintage wine will be racked out and the new fermenting must will be pumped onto the lees of the previous vintage. This means that the 2nd fill barrel has 2 vintages of lees, 3rd fill three and 4th fill four vintages of lees in. This adds more complexity. Barrels are 500ℓ and 15% new is used. No butonnaging or stirring. After blending, the wine goes to stainless steel and are allowed to settle clean. We will do a very rough filtration and take it to bottle.

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