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Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report 2014: Top 10 wines

By , 17 October 2014



LogoThe fourth annual Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report presented in conjunction with Sanlam Private Wealth is now out. This involved putting together a line-up of 60 high-profile wines, either currently available or soon to be released, and then subjecting them to a blind tasting.

The top 10 wines were as follows:

Hartenberg The Eleanor 2012
Cellardoor price: R210

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Uva Mira 2013
Cellardoor price: R600

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Chamonix Reserve 2013
Cellardoor price: R250

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Eikendal 2013
Cellardoor price: R108

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Grand Vin de Glenelly 2013
Cellardoor price: R135

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Haskell Anvil 2012
Cellardoor price: R290

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Longridge 2013
Cellardoor price: R100

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Newton Johnson Southend 2013
Cellardoor price: R125

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Paul Cluver 2013
Cellardoor price: R150
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Stellenrust Barrel Fermented 2013
Cellardoor price: R115 (to be released in December)

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report 2014

To buy a pack of the entire top 10, visit the Wade Bales Wine Society.


5 comment(s)

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    Colyn Truter | 21 October 2014


    Maybe time to also include an unwooded category?? You cant keep all producers happy if you only select 60 wines, but the 60 that you select is interesting. I don’t think this list is representative of the best 60 Chardonnay in SA…

      Christian | 21 October 2014

      Hi Colyn,

      Re “Unwooded Chardonnay”, I think these are mainly being made as a substitute for Sauvignon Blanc – forward fruit but not quite the same searing acidity – and while many are good everyday drinking, I generally find them short of real complexity.

      Re your comment that the wines featured are not the best 60 in the country, I try to put the line-up together in such a way that while all producers invited have some sort of credentials when it comes to Chardonnay, we also get to explore terroir. You will notice wines included originate from Stellenbosch, Elgin, the wards of Hemel–en-Aarde Robertson, Franschhoek and one or two even further afield. I’d be interested to know who you consider a glaring omission…

    Greg Sherwood MW | 18 October 2014

    I suppose its important to remember that 99% of consumers will buy these wines to drink on purchase. If the are advised to keep the wine… for 3 to 5 years plus… then presumably the will stick it on the rack in their garage. As we all know, this is not ideal storage and will age the wines prematurely. The pristine examples us in the trade taste ex-cellar or out of a proper cellar… are not the norm. But, I think certain producers, like Chamonix, should have broader drinking windows due to their proven track record.

    Tim James | 17 October 2014

    I do wonder at the drinking windows you give to these fine wines. Five years from the date of vintage seems to be a rule you apply nearly invariably, whatever the particular wine. Yet take Chamonix for example, which has been around a long time and has a proven track record of often ageing and developing superbly for ten years – and more. But you advise drinkers to open their bottles between now and 2018. On what basis, I wonder, have you decided this? If it’s a general thumbsuck rule you apply to all the wines, and you’re not making specific judgements on the basis of anything useful, it might be better to simply omit giving this advice which, if it’s followed will lead to many of these fine chardonnays being drunk before they’ve reached their peak. I think we generally need to advise drinkers to wait, rather than encourage them to infanticide! (It seems a plausible if not compelling Top Ten.)

      Christian Eedes | 17 October 2014

      Hi Tim, We have this perennial discussion. All I can say is rather a year too early than a day too late. In a similar vein, I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than bitterly disappointed when it comes to ageing wine…

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