Now that the warmer days are creeping in, I tasted this new and refreshed unwooded Chardonnay 2016 from Vriesenhof Vineyards. If you are not a fan of Chardonnay, but love white wine then unwooded is definitely a good way to start developing your palate for this unique variety grape.
Why is it so refreshing for Spring? On the nose, you will enjoy a lovely floral scent with a hint of marzipan, lemon zest and dried pear. Upon taste, fresh green apple and minerality on the finish.
Tip: add small, flowers to your ice cubes before freezing. It will look stunning in your glass or in the ice bucket with this particular Chardonnay.
All Vriesenhof wines are now bottled under one label. The new look range comprises seven wines, which includes an unwooded Chardonnay, barrel fermented Chardonnay, Pinotage, Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre blend, Pinot Noir, a Bordeaux style red blend – Kallista – and a Grenache, which made from grapes from the Piekenierskloof.
The cellar door prices are as follows:
- Unwooded Chardonnay – R 95.00
- Barrel Fermented Chardonnay – R 190.00
- Pinotage – R125.00
- Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre blend – R125.00
- Pinot Noir – R290.00
- Kallista – R290.00
- Grenache – R330.00
A bit of history…
A very important element of wine is the historical agricultural background. If the grapes feel at home in the land, they can tell the story that the land has written with a clear voice. In the 16th century Olivier des Sevres said, “Terroir is an alliance of soil and a complex network of plants and light.”
This was Jan’s belief when he bought Vriesenhof in December 1980. The farm is situated at the foothills of the Stellenbosch Mountain, where the ever-changing climatic effect of the Atlantic Ocean is evident throughout the year. This history of the original family, Coetzee, dates back to 1679.
Jan’s first wine was produced under the majestic oak trees in 1981. When he arrived on Vriesenhof, it was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut and Pinotage. In 1983, Jan started planting Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. His innovation continued in the mid-1990’s when he added Pinot Noir and in 2009 when he planted Grenache vineyards.
Since 2006, the majority of the farm has been replanted, except for a small vineyard of old bush vine Pinotage at the top of the hill, as you enter the estate. These vineyards represent the wines of the new generation, who follow the philosophy that, “The winemaker is a humble servant of nature. His role is to give nature the opportunity to produce the best possible wine. “
The Vriesenhof range represents excellence through diversity. Each wine is crafted to a specific style by winemaker, Nicky Claasens, to ensure appeal to the broadest spectrum of wine lovers. Tastes may come and go, but a wine of true quality will always be in fashion.
Wine is not only the memory of terroir, but also the expression of place. However it changes from vintage to vintage – an ever evolving memory adding not only to the history of place, but also to the relationship between nature and man. Every vintage is a true reflection of the triumphs and struggles of each growing season, but also the excitement of what that vintage can bring.
For more information on this superb range visit www.vriesenhof.co.za.