Fort Simon Chardonnay 2000

Bredell describes the wine as showing aromas and tastes of peach, apricot and pear backed by a trace of citrus, rounded off with a soft presence of wood. He believes it will hold its own for at least four years. He recommends serving it with robust or richly flavoured dishes such as curries and bobotie.

variety : Chardonnay [ Chardonnay ]
winemaker : Marinus Bredell
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 13.41 % vol  rs : 2.2 g/l  pH : 3.59  ta : 5.5 g/l  
type : White  

in the vineyard : Fort Simon in Bottelary Hills has fast established a reputation for the excellence of its wines and the good value they offer. Winemaker Marinus Bredell, appointed in 1997, built Fort Simon’s first cellar. He is a regular winner of gold and double gold medals on the annual South African Veritas show. During 2000 he also earned medals on the Michelangelo International Wine awards as well as at the Chardonnay of the World event at Chateau des Ravatys in Burgundy. An earlier vintage of the Chardonnay is served on SAA’s international flights. Fort Simon wines have developed a sound following in South Africa, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Eastern Europe and the US.

This Stellenbosch farm lies against the Bottelary Hills and is cooled by False Bay and Atlantic sea breezes. The farm’s unique aspect, which to the south overlooks Stellenbosch and all the way to Rooi Els, and to the west overlooks Table Bay, means it can take the fullest advantage of prevailing sea breezes during the growing and ripening season to ensure intensity of grape flavour. Protracted ripening allows fruit sugars and acids to be retained up to and during the winemaking process, ideal for top quality wines.

The wine was made from 12-year-old trellised vines grown on the coolest, most elevated portion of the farm, some 200 metres to 300 metres above sea level, in weathered granite soils and facing south-west and north-west.

about the harvest: The grapes were hand picked at 23° Balling, during the cool, early mornings in February and hand-selected before being delivered to the cellar, where they spent 12 hours on the skins.

in the cellar : Applying a marionette drainage system, used in many French cellars, Bredell was able to drain the clean juice into the fermentation tanks without any settling. After fermentation at 16°C, the wine was transferred to a combination of mainly Alliers and Jupille 300-litre new French medium-toasted oak barrels, where it underwent malolactic fermentation.

During its eight months in wood, the wine was mixed with the lees every 14 days to impart creamy vanillin flavours. Bredell made up the final blend from a selection of the best barrels, which received a very light fining before bottling.

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