Last night a meeting of our social tasting group, the theme of the evening Chardonnay. Two flights, the first featuring unwooded examples, the second wooded.
We tasted blind and here’s how I scored the wines using the 20-point system.
1. Domaines des Malandes Chablis 2009 16/20
2.= Domaine William Fevre Montée de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2007 15.5/20
2.= Constantia Uitsig 2010 15.5/20
4. Elgin Ridge 282 2010 15/20
1.= Glen Carlou Quartz Stone 2005 18/20
1.= Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented 2006 18/20
3. Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented 2003 17/20
4. Chamonix 2004 16.5/20
Some general observations:
The Montée de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2007 from William Fevre appeared very full, leading us to suspect that it was wooded. The producer’s website confirms that approximately half of the harvest goes into barrel for 10 to 13 months. Is it strictly necessary to oak Chablis?
Elgin Ridge clearly has ambitions for its Chardonnay, the 2010 retailing for over R100 a bottle. While it had attractive juicy fruit, it was marred by some reduction, in all probability linked to being closed under screw-cap.
The flight of wooded Chardonnay proves that South Africa can produce world-class stuff. The Barrel Fermented wines from Mulderbosch as made by Mike Drobovic (residual sugar and all) really are becoming the stuff of legend.
Guessing age proved futile: I thought the oxidative Glen Carlou was around 10 years old, when in fact it was only six; the tight and closed Chamonix two or three years old, when in fact it was seven.