How long does top South African Chardonnay last? You know it ain’t going to be forever but for those of us who like secondary character, you want to push it as far as possible.
Last night, we cooked nasi goreng with prawn and pork (except we didn’t have any pork so we use Stroganoff beef strips) which lent itself to a full-bodied white. I was inclined towards a Chenin Blanc-driven blend from the Swartland, but darling demanded Chardonnay.
Clearly a delicate little number like Ataraxia was not going to fit the bill and so we opted for the 2006 vintage of Sterhuis Barrel Selection Chardonnay. The house style is what you might call “generous” and I thought it would work well with the mild spice of the Nasi Goreng, if it wasn’t already past its best.
On pouring it was urine-sample orange, which did not bode well. But drinking it proved far more satisfactory. There were flavours of blue orange (when you’ve left an orange in the fruit basket a few days too long) tropical fruit and some nuttiness. Just before it all became too decadent, the acidity kicked in providing refreshment. The wine was probably at its peak but provided delicious drinking four years on from vintage.