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Fram Chardonnay 2014

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Much comment following Tim James’s column about Robertson earlier in the week that the wines of this district are under-appreciated by the critics (see here).

I find this curious but rather than make a very detailed counter-argument, I shall simply point out that when a Robertson wine in the form of Silverthorn Green Man 2011 was entered into last year’s Six Nations Wine Challenge, it was judged best sparkling wine, best white wine and joint best wine overall and another Robertson wine namely Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2009 is not only rated 5 Stars in the current edition of Platter’s but also won the trophy for Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine at last year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition…

Regular readers of this website will know that Robertson wines feature fairly often and I had chance to review another one recently, specifically the Fram Chardonnay 2014 made by the forward-thinking Thinus Krüger.

The wine was tank fermented and left on the lees for three months. It also contains 10% of Chenin Blanc, which underwent whole bunch fermentation with aerated pump-overs for two weeks.

In short, I think it’s one of the best examples of unwooded Chardonnay yet to come out of South Africa. Some blossom, lemon and a slight yeasty note on the nose. Great fruit concentration and zesty acidity on the palate before a nicely pithy finish. It’s got a more “sun-kissed” quality than your typical Chablis (which is to say it’s not quite as lean) but it’s bloody delicious. Approximate retail price: R70 a bottle.

Score: 90/100.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think too many people would dispute Robertson’s ability to produce some good Chardonnay, whether it has bubbles or not.

  2. Kwispedoor, at least one person questions Robertsons ability to produce good Chardonnay: “But perhaps the bitterest tannin was the drive by shooting of Robertson Chardonnay, supplied as a quote from Eben Sadie who was not even present at the tasting. “Today’s avant-garde prefer to work with other varieties. Why not Chardonnay? I asked Eben Sadie. ‘You can’t. You need limestone; you need 45˚ latitude. The energy, the sun here, the brightness is too much. Some grapes are not meant to move. Robertson’s got the perfect soil, but the altitude’s wrong, the light’s wrong”. Eben Sadie in conversation with Andrew Jefford, quoted on Neil Pendock.com

    • Heheh – he’s comparing it with the aspirational Burgundy, though. Bit of a price difference between the wines from the two places.

      • Well, of course Robertson Chardonnay isn’t going to taste like Puligny, but that’s the point of terroir isn’t it? Roberston makes damn tasty Robertson Chardonnay and to argue that they shouldn’t have planted it because the light is different to Burgundy is, I am afraid, bollocks. By that argument, Vitis Vinifera should never have left Georgia in central Europe in the first place and France is an interloper in terms of wine growing.

      • Exactly, Prim. Besides, not everyone can afford top Burgundy. (Weirdly, there was a “REPLY” option with every comment, except for yours from 09:01)

      • Well, there was no “reply” button because that was the end of the argument!
        That’s what my wife tells me anyway, if there is any contradictory evidence to her final point, its the beginning of a new argument.
        I see there isn’t a reply option on your last comment too though. Gremlins, no doubt.

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