It’s early days at Babylonstoren, the showpiece Paarl farm owned by Koos Bekker of Naspers, but the Chardonnay is the most successful wine to date. The maiden vintage 2011 and subsequent 2012 have both been rated 4 Stars in Platter’s and yesterday I got a look at the recently released 2013 (price: R185 a bottl0.
As with its predecessors, it was matured for 12 months in 100% oak and this has a big impact on the wine with a pronounced vanilla character plus some roasted almonds on nose and palate.
There’s some quite pretty fruit underneath however which presents as pear, white peach and lemon and the wine is surprisingly light bodied given an abv of 14%. Cellarmaster Charl Coetzee and winemaker Klaas Stoffberg pretty much concede that less oak would be better but want to build up their own inventory of used barrels rather than sourcing them for outside.