De Wetshof, Bateleur Chardonnay 1500ml 2016South Africa, Robertson
The De Wet family’s winemaking heritage can, however, be traced back to 1694 when the first De Wets arrived at the Cape and immediately made a mark on the South African wine industry. Today, De Wetshof is one of the few third generation wine estates in South Africa. Here Danie de Wet, proprietor and cellarmaster, is assisted by sons Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker).
The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is one of Africa’s most majestic birds of prey. This wine was named after an eagle that is rare in both its beauty and occurrence as a tribute to the power and grace of a creature synonymous with our great continent.
‘Facing north on the limestone soils that make Robertson so distinctive in South Africa, this is quite a voluptuous style in 2016, with 100% new wood, plenty of rich, lemon butter flavours and supporting acidity and minerality. 2019-25.’ – Tim Atkin 2018 SA Special Report, 92/100
‘The 2016 Bateleur Chardonnay seems to handle the 100% new French oak better than "The Site" (even if they are different vintages.) Scents of white peach and guava are nicely sutured into the vanilla-y wood and there is decent freshness. The palate is well balanced, featuring grapefruit, red apple and light honeysuckle notes, and the acidity is well judged with a commercially savvy, slightly vanilla-y finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. Very fine.’ – Neal Martin, Vinous.com, 90/100
‘Gravel soils originating from mountain rock rich in limestone and clay with a high pH allow this single vineyard Chardonnay to portray a spectrum of flavours framed in elegance and complexity, typical features of a classic Chardonnay. Citrus and pear-drop notes are complemented by an intriguing nuttiness, with elegant citrus on the finish. The Bateleur improves in dimension and complexity with age and under the correct storage conditions it can mature in the bottle for many years.’ – Winemaker
The grapes are picked in the coolness of morning to capture the beautifully elegant complexities of pear-drop and citrus fruit flavours characterising this vineyard’s fruit. Once de-stemming, pressing and overnight settling have been completed, the juice is racked off from the sediment and moved into French oak barrels specially selected by Monsieur Christian Radoux to enhance fruit quality during barrel-fermentation and maturation. After fermentation, the wine remains on the lees under controlled temperatures. Weekly stirring (battonnage) of the lees in the barrels ensures maximum depth of flavour is released into the wine. After some months the wines are racked off the lees and returned to barrels to complete the wood-maturation until it has reached the desired standard for bottling.
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