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Radford Dale Chardonnay 2014

The Experience

Drink When...
In times of solidarity
Listen To...
Let's Stick Together by Wilbert Harrison
Think About...
United we stand, divided we fall
Drink With...
Fish pie with plenty of tarragon and a crunchy cheese top

The Oddbins Take

Whoever did the paperwork for this wine didn’t write one person’s name in the box marked “Winemaker”, but instead wrote “Team Effort”, which we particularly like. It sums up the unassuming, community-based ethos of this fantastic winery. But even though we like their ethos, we like their wine even better… This is a subtle, charming Chardonnay that exhibits crisp, limey flavours and elegant minerality, with well-integrated oak. Team, we salute you.

The Vital Statistics

Country
South Africa
Region
Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Classification
WO Stellenbosch
Vintage
2014
Drink
To be updated
Closure
Screwcap
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Residual Sugar
3 g/l
13.9%
Alcohol Units
9.5

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The Style

Grape
Chardonnay (100%)
Character
Smooth
Oak
Body
Light Full bodied
Sweetness
Dry Sweet

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  • Radford Dale Chardonnay South Africa
Radford Dale Chardonnay South Africa

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The Wine Gang, Report February 2014: "This is a really well-crafted, complex Cape Chardonnay showing subtle hints of nutty oak with lots of hazelnutty fruit flavour very much in the Burgundian mould thanks to subtle oak toasting and and a richness of textured fruit that's etched with a fine, citrusy dry finish."

The Winery of Good Hope is located in the region of Stellenbosch in the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, founded in 1998 and specialising in the mountainous viticultural sub regions of the Helderberg (Stellenbosch), Elgin and the Perdeberg (Swartland). They produce four distinctive wine ranges using traditional, natural viticultural and winemaking methods, at their cellar on the Helderberg mountain. They are fully accredited for environmental, ethical, and social-upliftment practices.

In the vineyard and also in the cellar, their approach can be best described as a fusion of tradition and innovation. While their own philosophy is greatly influenced by the values and traditions of the Old World, they don’t ignore the cues derived from the local environment. They believe strongly in the Cape's ability (and especially the mountains of the Helderberg, Perdeberg and Elgin) to produce wines of superb elegance and inimitable character, while placing a great deal of faith in their chosen varieties to express the extraordinary array of terroirs that make these sites - with precious little intervention themselves.

With the strong influence of Alex Dale’s upbringing in Burgundy, the making of this Chardonnay is also adapted to the mineral geology and temperate maritime climate. The grapes were all hand-picked at dawn, chilled in a cellar, then hand-fed over a sorting table. The grapes were whole bunch-pressed, with the free-run juice settled for two days before being gravity-fed into barrel. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out entirely in the barrel (only using natural ambient yeast) for eight to 10 weeks. The cellar stayed very cold at about 10° C (fermentation peaking at about 18 °), then the temperature dropped to 7° and malolactic fermentation was inhibited by the cold. Battonnage was applied weekly during the first two months, then occasionally for the following nine. It was racked out of the barrel after 11 months, assembled and settled with a light bentonite fining and no filtration until bottling in the middle of January 2011 –the same week, in fact, that they picked the following Chardonnay crop.

With restraining acidity, citrus flavours and integrated oaking marking the introverted side of its character; ripeness and great persistence on the palate mark out the more expansive side. Genuinely mineral, with a crisp lime-citrus edge and an elegant yet intense durability, it is a Chardonnay striving to be individual and focused on backbone not butter.


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