Delheim Sur Lie Chardonnay spent 9 months on the lees. Thereafter, the wine was released on 27 May to celebrate International Chardonnay day 2020. Delheim kindly sent me a bottle along with a beautiful protea flower. The flower represents the name of the special vineyard block from which the grapes come. The wine spent some time in new French Oak Barrels and a result is that this Chardonnay is R250 a bottle – quite pricey for white wine. But I definitely don’t mind paying it.
Delheim Sur Lie Chardonnay in the Vineyard:
The grapes for this Chardonnay comes from a single vineyard block on the Simonsberg Mountain at a high altitude. This special block in Stellenbosch is consistently considered an excellent performance of Chardonnay at Delheim. Over the decades this specific site has delivered award-winning chardonnays. The 2007 vintage from this same vineyard block (before it was replanted) won the trophy for Best Chardonnay in the World.
“The vineyard is one we always watch intensely over the development of its fruit in the run-up to harvest because we are eager to see the result once the wine emerges from its slumber,” says Delheim winemaker Roelof Lotriet. “This year again, this very special vineyard just radiates from the glass.”
The vineyard that realised the wine is just three hectares in size. It was planted in 2014 and given the nickname Protea – a reflection of Delheim’s focus on sustainable and environmentally-friendly farm practice. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and fermented in French oak barrels.
In the glass:
Its name, “Sur Lie”, refers to the nine months the wine spent on the lees before blending and bottling.
“The fruit the block delivers is evidence that if you plant the right cultivar at the right site in the right soil you can make wines that are layered and complex, and still elegant,” says Roelof.
“This vintage again is an ambassador for the terroir we have at Delheim. And we’ve elevated that expression in the wine through a subtle use of new wood.”
In glass, the vibrantly golden wine shows citrus, stone fruit and subtle notes of spice on the nose. On the palate, you will experience a well-balanced wine with medium bodied structure. Creamy notes from the oak meld with elegant fruit and linger in fresh and memorable crispness.
Food and Wine Pairing
The wine’s solid body and character give it just the right clout to serve with a hearty meal this winter.
“It’s a wonderful wine to pair with a winter casserole and some fine cheese,” says Roelof.
This wine will continue to improve in bottle to within five years from vintage.
Buy Delheim Sur Lie Chardonnay
Delheim Chardonnay Sur Lie 2020 is R250 a bottle available for sale from their website or at selected retailers.
Delheim Estate is in the Simonsberg sub-region of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, on the Knorhoek Road, off the R44.