Eikendal in Stellenbosch will be hosting its annual Weintaufe Harvest Celebration on Sunday, 4 March and I’m honoured to have been appointed as the “godfather” of the vintage charged with providing a “ceremonial blessing”, in particular the farm’s Chardonnay.
In light of this, I thought it was important to re-acquaint myself with the property’s Chardonnay and yesterday winemaker Nico Grobler treated to me a vertical tasting from 2007 to 2011.
Henry Kotze (now at Morgenster) made the 2007 and 2008 vintages, while Grobler, previously understudy to Kotze, took over full responsibility in 2009.
2007: Ripe citrus and vanilla on nose and palate. Rich and full with a creamy texture and moderate acidity. 50% new oak for seven months, 50% MLF. Score: 15/20
2008: Lime and lemon on the nose and palate. Medium bodied with clean, pure fruit and bright acidity. 30% new oak for 10 months, 30% MLF. Score: 15.5/20
2009: Citrus and attractive leesy note on nose and palate. Good fruit concentration but also pleasing secondary notes. Complex, layered and long. 3% new oak for nine months, 10% MLF. Score: 17/20
2010: Shy nose. Juicy citrus fruit, fresh acidity, oak well judged but not the same concentration or complexity as 2009. 15% new oak for eight months, 15% MLF. Score: 15.5/20
2011: Citrus blossom on the nose. Elegant and under-stated with pure fruit, moderate acidity, 15% new oak, 20% MLF. Score: 16/20
There’s a distinct stylistic difference between Kotze and Grobler’s wines, the former more weighty than the latter. In this regard, Grobler relates that he spent time in Burgundy between the 2008 and 2009 harvests which had a significant influence on his approach and he now goes in pursuit of the “tightness and freshness” of the wines that so impressed him while in France.
Entrance to the Eikendal Weintaufe 2012 is R60 per person and includes a complimentary glass and barrel tasting of the 2012 Chardonnay. Food and wine will be on sale. Tickets are available at Eikendal or at the gates on the day. The event starts at 10h00 with the official baptism and tasting of the new Eikendal wine at 12h00. For more information, 021 855 1422 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.