While I consider the Unwooded Chardonnay from Constantia Uitsig one of the better local examples around, I’ve always seen it as playing second fiddle to the property’s single-variety Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend. I have, for instance, drunk great bottles of the Semillon five, six and seven years on from vintage, but I wouldn’t even think to try the Unwooded Chardonnay much longer than 24 months on from the year of being made.
In an effort to convince me of the age-worthiness of the Unwooded Chardonnay, the property sent me a bottle of the 2003 recently and I have to say it was in great nick. Firstly, mention must be made of the colour which was glow-in-the-dark yellow-green. On the nose, pronounced lemon, which followed through to the palate, a slight nuttiness presenting on the finish. Full and rich but balanced by zesty acidity. Perhaps lacking a little complexity and nuance to be considered truly excellent but very good eight years on from vintage and proof that this wine should not be overlooked relative to its illustrious stablemates.