Durbanville Hills shines at Chardonnay du Monde in France
Issued by DKC on behalf of Durbanville Hills - Mar 23rd 2016, 16:54
Two of Durbanville Hills’ Chardonnay wines are amongst the Top 15 South African wines as judged during the 23rd Chardonnay du Monde held annually in Burgundy.
Its 2015 Durbanville Hills Chardonnay is one of only six South African wines of this varietal that have been awarded gold whilst the reserve 2014 Rhinofields Chardonnay was awarded with silver, one of only nine South African wines to receive this award.
In total, worldwide, only 63 wines received gold and 196 wines silver medals of the 782 entries from 39 countries. The competition took place from 8 to 11 March at the Château des Ravatys where some 300 judges, about half of them from outside France, evaluated the entries.
Durbanville Hills cellar master Martin Moore says that this is a remarkable achievement for the winery, especially for its Durbanville Hills Chardonnay, a wine that is available nationwide at a competitive price-point.
“We firmly believe award-winning wines shouldn’t be exclusive to enjoy on special occasions. We continuously strive to ensure consistent quality and freshness, no matter the bottling date, so consumers can be assured the wine they tasted a few months back is the exact same blend as the one they are drinking now.”
He adds that the cool climate and unique terroir of the area provided an ideal environment for the production of top-quality Chardonnay grapes. “Our landscape is diverse with a variety of hills, valleys, soil types, and mesoclimates. And it’s this very location of our vineyards that allow us to create a range of wines where we can play with flavour components from opposite hillsides, bringing a great depth and complexity.”
For the 2015, Durbanville Hills Chardonnay the grapes from each vineyard block was vinified separately. Some 80% of the wine was fermented in steel tanks and left for four months on the lees to achieve a pronounced fruit character. The balance was fermented and matured for four months, in the presence of tight-grain French oak staves. These added complexity and subtle oak flavours without dominating the fruit character of the wine.
Martin says they follow a much gentler approach with their Rhinofields Chardonnay. To ensure a seamless integration between oak and fruit sixty percent of the wine was ferment and mature in stainless steel tanks over a 12-month period. The remainder of the wine spent a total of 12 months in French oak barrels, rolling the barrels by hand instead of stirring the lees in the conventional manner.
“We reduce the contact with oxygen by not having to remove the bung, preserving the wine’s delicate aromas and fruit flavours. The technique has imparted a deliciously creamy texture to the wine.”
The 2015 Durbanville Hills Chardonnay is available countrywide and retails for about R55 whilst the 2014 Rhinofields Chardonnay one can purchase only from the cellar, www.vinoteque.co.za and selected fine wine stores for about R109. Click here for more information on Durbanville Hills
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