The 2010 Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay has been named one of the Top 10 Chardonnays at the 19th annual Chardonnay du Monde held in Burgundy, France.
The international panel of judges tasted 908 wines from 43 countries, representing the best and most diverse wine producing areas in the world. The gold-medal winning Chardonnay from Durbanville Hills shares the top position with Austria, France, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
The wine spent a total of twelve months in the barrel and according to cellar master Martin Moore the process of rolling the barrels every fortnight has made all the difference in ensuring this wine gets the attention it deserves.
“By rolling the barrels instead of stirring the lees in the conventional manner, we have followed a gentler approach. By not having to remove the bungs, we reduced contact with oxygen and so preserved the wine’s delicate aromas while moderating the extraction of oak. The technique has imparted a deliciously creamy texture to the wine and ensured a seamless integration with oak.”
He says the wine holds a zesty citrus nose with peach, dried apricots backed by cedar, wood spice and almonds. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, creamy and elegant with hints of orange. It pairs exceptionally well with creamy sauces, cured ham, salmon and Eisbein.
Moore added that though the Chardonnay tasted superb now, the flavours would over time blossom and develop in complexity, its texture would soften and the mouthfeel would acquire even more creaminess.
The Rhinofields reserve range of wines refers to the indigenous Cape renosterveld growing close to the Durbanville Hills cellar. A member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), 320 ha of this highly threatened vegetation was at present being protected on the farms of members of Durbanville Hills.
The 2010 Rhinofields Chardonnay is available from fine wine shops and from the cellar for about R95 per bottle.