We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2019 > NEW WORLD: Chardonnay - South Africa

Winner Details

New World: Chardonnay, South Africa

2019 Gold 2        Silver 4                 Bronze 2             Commended 6
2018 Gold 2        Silver 7                 Bronze 1             Commended 4

There seems to be more variation within South Africa’s Chardonnay portfolio than there is in Australia’s: some producers are heading down the slimline route, others preferring to waddle around like a glutton with a day pass for the supermarket bakery aisle.

So although some tasters felt there was a lack of identity (probably a fair comment), others were happy to taste the variety on offer and pick out the ones they liked. Eight medals is pretty much par for the course for the Saffers with Chardonnay, so they can see this as a job well done. Not thrilling, necessarily, but good nonetheless.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Some really nice expressions; a more restrained, Old World character. Some with juicy fruity and bold oak but still well integrated.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘There’s still good value to be found in Burgundy, but South Africa offers something different – it’s more approachable, equally consistent in value for money, even slightly better, than Burgundy. It’s a good place to start – a really good alternative.’ Romain de Courcy, Gazelle Mayfair

‘I wouldn’t expect to drink South African Chardonnay – I’d think of Chenin Blanc. But we can find some interesting wines price-wise. The wines can remind you of Burgundy wines at lower prices.’ Dario Barbato, Individual Restaurants

‘A couple had Burgundy-esque flavour, not just fruit – honey, toasty, smoky notes. You can find a little bit of what you’d expect at every price range, and all good value.’ Savvas Symeonidis, Gymkhana Restaurant

‘High hopes and low performance. Generally, very interchangeable wines – nothing shouted South Africa.’ Jan Konetzki, team leader

Award winners

Found 14 wines

New World: Chardonnay, South Africa

Boschendal, Appellation Series, Elgin, Chardonnay 2016, Elgin, South Africa

Gold medal winner

‘This smells of the Cote d’Or…’. Praise indeed from team leader Jan Konetzki, as he awarded this aromatic wine a worthy Gold medal, adding: ‘It’s dry and rich but also fresh; it’s slick and savoury but has complex fruit.’ ‘Burgundian, with sweet hazelnuts and sweet spice,’ thought Claire Love of Loves Consultancy. ‘Very good use of oak,’ said Street XO’s Raphael Thierry, adding: ‘The ripe stone fruit and minerality present a charming wine that is rich and round, yet elegant at the same time.’

£22.65 DGB Europe Ltd

Kleine Zalze, Cleefs. Reserve Collection, Chardonnay 2017, Western Cape, South Africa

Gold medal winner Pub & Bar

Awarding a Gold medal for this great value Chardonnay, team leader Laura Rhys MS said, ‘This has nice complexity for the price.’ It was a sentiment shared by many on the panel. Claire Love of Loves Consultancy praised the balance between ‘spicy, creamy oak’ and the ‘vibrant lemon and floral notes’. ‘The subtle crème brûlée oak notes give texture,’ said Street XO’s Raphael Thierry, ‘but the ripe stone fruits finish fresh.’

£7.72 Hatch Mansfield

Creation, Reserve Chardonnay 2017, Walker Bay, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Vibrant lemon, sweet apple and juicy white peach notes’ were the aromas noted by Claire Love of Loves Consultancy. She followed up by describing this Silver medallist as having an ‘intense, smoky hazelnut spice, with a substantial finish’. It was, she said, ‘a real crowd pleaser’.

£17.40 Bibendum

Kleine Zalze, Vineyard Selection, Chardonnay 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Raphael Thierry of Street XO noted: ‘Yellow apple and honeydew melon, yet buttery with good fruit concentration and elegant oak spices.’

£7.49 Hatch Mansfield

Hartenberg, The Eleanor 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Raphael Thierry of Street XO found aromas of ‘stone fruits, pineapple and melon’, and enjoyed its complexity, ‘with well-integrated oak, displaying elegant toasted nutty notes and a fresh, long, balanced finish’.

£19.00 Bancroft Wines

Lismore, Chardonnay 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Team leader Jan Konetzki was impressed by this ‘ripe, tropical wine’, and described ‘yeasty, toasted sesame flavours balanced with coconut, yoghurt and a dry, fresh acidity’.

£18.78 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Journey's End, Single Vineyard, Chardonnay 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Alan Bednarski of Texture certainly liked this Bronze medal-winning wine, describing its ‘sweet apple and pear notes, and candied fruit’, followed by ‘sweet toast, roasted veg and generous oak’.

£14.04 Bibendum

Creation, Chardonnay 2017, Walker Bay, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Claire Love of Loves Consultancy found ‘a cedar wood nose and sweet hazelnuts’ and described this wine’s ‘rich middle palate’ as having ‘a cinnamon apple pie finish’.

£17.66 Bibendum

Kleine Zalze, Cellar Selection, Chardonnay 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Journey's End, Destination, Chardonnay 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£19.10 Bibendum

Journey's End, Haystack, Chardonnay 2018, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£10.46 Bibendum

MAN Family Wines, Padstal, Chardonnay 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£7.20 Enotria&Coe

Elgin Vintners, Chardonnay 2018, Elgin, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Springfield Estate, Méthode Ancienne, Chardonnay 2016, Robertson, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£25.30 Bibendum

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.