Prescient Chardonnay Report 2021: Top 10

By , 26 October 2021

Comment

2

Introduction

This year’s Chardonnay Report convened by Winemag.co.za and sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. There were 93 entries from 67 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by a three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Top 10

The 10 best wines overall are as follows:

94

Constantia Uitsig Reserve 2020
Price: R250
Wine of Origin: Constantia
Abv: 12.41%

94

Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve 2020
Price: R325
Wine of Origin: Banghoek
Abv: 14.25%

94

Neil Ellis Whitehall Elgin 2020
Price: R295
Wine of Origin: Elgin
Abv: 13%

94

Paul Cluver Village 2020
Price: R120
Wine of Origin: Elgin
Abv: 12.5%

93

De Grendel Op die Berg 2020
Price: R300
Wine of Origin: Ceres Plateau
Abv: 13.02%

93

Eikendal 2019
Price: R225
Wine of Origin: Western Cape
Abv: 12.5%

93

La Vierge Jezebelle 2020
Price: R158
Wine of Origin: Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge
Abv: 13.9%

93

Môreson FYM 2020
Price: R390
Wine of Origin: Franschhoek
Abv:12.49%

93

Oak Valley Groenlandberg 2020
Price: R255
Wine of Origin: Elgin
Abv: 13.41%

93

Warwick The White Lady 2020
Price: R390
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 13.5%

Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch.

About Chardonnay

Chardonnay is widely planted throughout the world but its traditional home is Burgundy in the east of France, and it fares particularly well in the Côte de Beaune and Chablis where it thrives on the predominantly chalky soils.

It’s relatively easy to grow and winemakers love it for how readily it responds to a variety of techniques. As to what constitutes a good example is hard to define clearly, however. It can vary in colour from very pale to pronounced straw-yellow while it can be steely dry to rather rich and full on the palate. Flavours are often subtle and understated and yet beguiling.

What does top Chardonnay go for?

The average price of the 51 wines to rate 90-plus is R266 a bottle and of the Top 10 is R273 a bottle.

Best Buy

Offering the best quality relative to price is Franschhoek Cellar Our Town Hall Unoaked 2021 with a rating of 91 and selling for R72.50 a bottle.

Citrus, peach and apple plus some floral perfume on the nose while the palate shows pure fruit and tangy acidity before a salty finish.

Discovery of Report

The “Discovery of Report” serves to recognise previously unsung wines.

92

Lelie van Saron 2020
Price: R230
Wine of Origin Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Abv; 13.6%

Lelie van Saron is the own label of Natasha Williams, winemaker at Bosman Family Vineyards. The nose of this wine shows top notes of flowers and herbs before lime and lemon while the palate has good fruit concentration, nicely integrated acidity and savoury finish.

In-depth analysis

To read the report in full, including key findings, tasting notes for the top wines, buyers guide and scores on the 100-point quality scale for all wines entered, download the following: Prescient Chardonnay Report 2021

Shop online

Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor is offering most of the wines in the Top 10 for sale and can deliver nationwide.  Spend R500 or more and get R150 off. Use code WINEMAG150 at checkout – buy now.

Video

Comments

2 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

  • Tim James26 October 2021

    I’m very pleased to see Lelie van Saron Chardonnay doing well in your tasting – but to make it the “Discovery of Report” on the grounds of its being “previously unsung” is not quite right. For example, I sang enthusiastically about it on this website just a month ago, calling it “a total delight” (https://winemag.co.za/wine/opinion/tim-james-the-wines-and-story-of-the-lily-of-saron/ – There was some discussion after that article about the sad need for new young winemakers to put themselves forward as many established commentators seldom look for them – so it’s good that Natasha Williams has done just that by entering this competition).

    A bit of googling shows that Greg Sherwood as far back as 2018 called Natasha’s maiden 2017 “a cracker”; and Jamie Goode scored it 94. Platter scored both the 2017 and 2018 vintages 91 points. I’d guess, without knowing, that Tim Atkin and Neal Martin have also scored it well. So claiming the wine as a discovery of the report is a bit ridiculous. It has been known about for a long time! Id suggest that people keep a lookout for the Syrah also.

    • Christian Eedes26 October 2021

      Hi Tim, When Lelie van Saron 2020 did well in this tasting, it was always my intention to link back to your recent article but work pressure resulted in me neglecting to do so – thank you for drawing attention to what is a good read. That said, I think Lelie van Saron as a label, if not Williams as a person, remains something of an unknown quantity even for readers of this site – we live in a world where the likes of Crystallum, Restless River and Storm get all the attention when it comes to Chardonnay. The truism holds that it generally takes about 10 years to become an overnight sensation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.

Contribute