Radford Dale, Chardonnay 750ml 2017South Africa, Stellenbosch
'With his background in Burgundy, Alex Dale has always had a sure touch with Chardonnay. This fresh, light-bodied style, all from the Polkadraai Hills, is light, nuanced and focused, showing notes of struck match and lemon butter and impressive palate length. 2019-25.' – Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2018, 94/100
\ 'With strong influence of Alex Dale’s upbringing in Burgundy, the making of this Chardonnay is also adapted to our particular conditions in this ocean-facing part of the Cape – our mineral geology and temperate maritime climate both lending much to the equation. Restraining acidity, citrus flavours and integrated oaking, the introverted side of its character; ripeness and great persistence on the palate the more expansive side. Genuinely mineral, with a crisp lime-citrus edge and an elegant yet intense durability. A Chardonnay striving to be individual, focused on backbone not butter.' – Winemaker
Fruit from two exceptional, ocean facing sites on the foothills of the Helderberg is used for this Chardonnay. With the vines now 25 years old, the wine that these vines produce shows the typical intensity that one can expect from mature Chardonnay vineyards. The crunchy, granite derived soil type (Clovelly) imparts a lovely, flinty minerality to the wine and proximity to sea means the wine naturally possesses a bracing freshness.
The grapes were all hand-picked at dawn into small lug-bins, chilled in our white wine cellar, then hand-fed over a sorting table. Whole bunch pressed, with the free-run juice settled for two days before being gravity-fed into barrel. Alcoholic fermentation entirely carried out in barrel (only using natural ambient yeast) for 8–10 weeks. Cellar maintained very cold at about 10° Celsius (fermentation peaking at about 18°), then temperature dropped to 7°. Battonnage was applied monthly only during the first 2 months. Racked out of barrel after 9 months, assembled and settled with a light bentonite fining and no filtration until bottling at the beginning of December 2016.
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WS: Wine Spectator