The Prescient Chardonnay Report 2016

October 19, 2016
by Christian
in News, Special Projects
with 8 Comments

prescient-chardonnay-logoThe sixth annual Chardonnay Report sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. This involved putting together a line-up of 60 of South Africa’s most high-profile examples, either currently available or soon to be released, and then subjecting them to a blind tasting.

Wines to rate 90 or higher on the 100-point quality scale were as follows:

DeMorgenzon Reserve 2015
Groot Constantia 2015
Kershaw Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 2015
Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch 2015

Iona 2015
Kershaw Elgin Clonal Selection 2015
Sterhuis Barrel Selection 2015

Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve 2015
De Wetshof Bateleur 2014
Eikendal 2015
Hartenberg 2015
Kershaw Deconstructed Groenland Mountain Bokkeveld Shale CY548 2015
Uva Mira The Single Tree 2015

Ataraxia 2014
Rustenberg Stellenbosch 2015

Bartinney Hourglass 2015
Chamonix Reserve 2015
Evidence 2015 (Sophie & Julien Schaal)
Kershaw Deconstructed Groenland Mountain Koffieklip CY96 2015
Longridge Clos du Ciel 2014
Matthew Van Heerden Signature Wines 2015
Oak Valley Elgin 2015
Paul Cluver Seven Flags 2015
Radford Dale 2015
StellenRust Barrel Fermented 2015
Vergelegen Reserve 2015
Yardstick 2014
Warwick White Lady 2015

Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale 2014
Buitenverwachting 2015
Capensis 2014
Longridge Organic 2015
Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2014
Sumaridge 2014
Thelema 2014

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: Prescient Chardonnay Report 2016.

To view a photo album of the awards function, CLICK HERE.

There will be public tastings of the top performing wines. To buy tickets for the Johannesburg  event on 1 November, CLICK HERE. To buy tickets for the Cape Town event on 2 November, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Prescient, CLICK HERE.


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  1. A wine loverOctober 20, 2016 at 2:48 pmReply

    Kwisp, I have said it before and I will say it again, the anomalies you have identified prove, once again, that trying to apply scientific principles to matters of taste are about as useful at trying to teach a dog Norwegian, amusing, but ultimately, a waste of time.

    These are all good wines, the differentiation between them by score merely a matter of timing and taste. so whats the point?

    Till next year then, when a whole new set of random results will be published.

  2. RickardOctober 20, 2016 at 11:55 amReply

    Interesting report as always. Some of these wines are available here in Sweden but most of them are from the 2014 vintage but the new ones from 2015 seems to be shipped in one after another. I never tasted Groot Constantia Chardonnay so I would definitely grab some bottles of this wine when or if I’ll find it on the shelves. I’m surprised though that both Hamilton Russel and Nine Yards from Jordan scored so low from a standout vintage and i wonder it’s possible to get the notes on those two wines? Could it be just two weak bottles?

    • ChristianOctober 20, 2016 at 12:04 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Rickard, Regarding the HRV, the panel felt on the day that the wine lacked poise and precision – plenty of ripe fruit but also very high acidity. Regarding the Jordan Nine Yards, the panel noted very ripe fruit and too much oak.

  3. BobbyOctober 20, 2016 at 8:04 amReply

    Looks like another fine set of wines to explore. I don’t see any Crystallum in the line-up of 60 this year. Did they request to not be considered?

    • ChristianOctober 20, 2016 at 8:27 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Bobby, Crystallum declined the invitation to participate.

  4. KwispedoorOctober 19, 2016 at 10:47 pmReply

    Whoah, some illustrious wines right at the very bottom (scores of 87 and 88), including one of my current favourites, the Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2015…

    • ChristianOctober 20, 2016 at 8:27 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Kwispedoor, Composite tasting note for the Newton Johnson Family Vineyards as follows: Lemon and blood orange plus some nutty character – already appears quite developed. Sweet ‘n sour on the palate. Flavourful but lacks balance.

      • KwispedoorOctober 20, 2016 at 9:15 am

        That’s really interesting, thanks Christian. I would have thought the relative elegance of the NJ might have counted against it the way things often get lost in large tastings, but now I’m wondering whether the particular bottle was in 100% nick… Literally just about the last thing that I would say about that wine is that it lacks balance.

        Here is James’s (who judged with you) tasting note as he wrote it for Wine Cellar: “A charming nose introduces this beautifully poised wine. There is citrus, restrained stone fruit and the welcoming aromas of quality oak. The palate shimmers with the pedigree of this great wine. The oak needs to settle but the fine acidity and linearity on the back is world class. This is a thoroughbred South African Chardonnay.”

        I also didn’t get even a whim of the wine being over-developed for a 2015. And, looking at their track record, their Chardonnays mature with great benefit (the 2009’s now seeming more like four year olds than seven year olds).

        Either way, the 60 wines represent a great selection of Chardonnays to start with and one could take away all the points, put them in a bag, re-assign them randomly to the wines and still offer a report of similar credibility. It says a lot for the quality of our top end Chardonnay.

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