Oak Valley Chardonnay 2010
By Christian Eedes, 20 May 2011
Out of the 23 000 cases that Elgin winery Oak Valley produces annually, 10 000 are Sauvignon Blanc, 10 000 are Bordeaux-style red blend and only 1 500 each are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (and the OV white blend apparently too little to mention). “I wish it was the other way around, but when we first planted vineyards some 25 years ago, we were advised that Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot were the varieties that would do best,” says Madeleine Rawbone-Viljoen of the family that owns it.
Plantings in Elgin are generally skewed towards Sauvignon Blanc (346ha vs 89ha of Chardonnay and 87ha of Pinot Noir) and while there’s not much wrong with the wines this ward makes from this variety, it is increasingly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that really impress.
Yesterday the Oak Valley Chardonnay 2010, which underwent spontaneous ferment and then spent nine months in French oak, 35% new. Great fruit definition but also weight and texture. When served with pecorino cheese, honey and nut-bread, a cracking food and wine match resulted.