Stellenbosch property Longridge is enjoying a resurgence under the direction of Jasper Raats. Brother of Bruwer, he brings international experience to bear and is committed to farming biodynamically. His Chardonnay 2013 was top 10 in the Chardonnay Report this year (see here) and yesterday revealed another rendition of the variety which I suspect will quickly acquire cult status.
Grapes come from Clos du Ciel situated a little above Longridge on the Helderberg , the vineyard planted by John Platter around 20 years ago with a view to achieving “something as close as possible to Burgundy” – seven different clones and extra tight spacing between the rows.
Whereas the Longridge 2013 is subtle and elegant, the Clos du Ciel is more dramatic. There’s an intense floral character to the nose plus the whole gamut of citrus fruit – lime, lemon and orange – as well as a little leesy complexity. The palate, meanwhile, has both breadth and depth. Great flavour intensity offset by fresh but nicely coated acidity – the wine has lovely texture without being unduly weighty (maturation lasted 14 months in French oak, 60% new but there’s hardly any oak-derived character in evidence). The finish, meanwhile, is long and gently savoury.
Total production was 1 200 bottles and release is set for February next year. Price still to be confirmed.