So Clos du Ciel Chardonnay 2013 from Longridge is launched and will cost R530 a bottle from Wine Cellar, continuing the dramatic premiumisation of this category (last year Uva Mira 2013 was launched at R600 a bottle and recently Capensis came onto the market at R935).
I got a sneak preview of the wine in December (see here) and liked it. Looking at it again, I’m even more convinced it’s pretty damn special. John Platter, the founder of the Platter’s wine guide, established the 1.5ha vineyard in Stellenbosch back in 1987 and revealed that the soil was “amended” by the addition of 80 tons of lime. “I’m sure this contributes to the distinctive style and longevity of the wines made from this block,” he says. Also noteworthy is that there were nine different clones planted and row spacing is particularly narrow.
Winemaker Jasper Raats refers to the wine as “African traditional” – he works biodynamically with a view to being “terroir-driven”. Giorgio Dalla Cia, previously of Meerlust and now of Dalla Cia Wine & Spirit Company, observed to me that it’s not “classical” and I would tend to agree. Despite an alcohol by volume of only 12.5%, it’s a big wine with extraordinary fruit expression but there’s nothing crass about it – perfect balance and genuinely food-friendly.