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Topical pic: Mulderbosch Chardonnay 2008 rates Five Stars in Platter’s 2011…

Mulderbosch Chardonnay 2008
Mulderbosch Chardonnay 2008

…and the Barrel Fermented 2008 doesn’t. The way that Platter’s works is that all wines are tasted sighted (labels exposed), except for those nominated for Five Stars. Each member of the tasting team gets a random selection of new-release wines to work through and those that he or she thinks are worthy of 5 Stars subsequently go before a panel that tastes blind for confirmation.

I reviewed Mulderbosch for the 2011 guide and thought the two examples of Chardonnay submitted were stonkingly good, the standard label 2008 very expressive and even a little “funky” while the Barrel Fermented 2008 was much more restrained and focused. The former is mostly natural ferment, third each new oak, second fill and tank and has a whacking great RS of around 8g/l; the latter is entirely natural ferment in 100% new oak. Put them both up for Five Stars, and, well…

Which is really the better wine? As cellarmaster Richard Kershaw said to me at the launch of Platter’s 2011 last night, “We’ll have a look at them in a couple of years’ time and I’m sure everything will become clear”.


  1. I had the 2004 Barrel Fermented over the weekend. Thrilling wine, focused, taught mineral, but still with delicious creamy toastiness. Brilliantly balanced and one of the best SA white wines I’ve had. You know I don’t really score, but I’d give the 04 five stars. Easily. 

  2. If you “look at them in a couple of years’ time” you will see that the Barrel Fermented wipes the floor with the standard version. Every vintage of the BF is better when matured (the mark of most top wines, if you ask me).


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