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Lothian Vineyards, has scooped the coveted South African Chardonnay Trophy in the 2019 International Wine Challenge (IWC).
Lothian Vineyards, has scooped the coveted South African Chardonnay Trophy in the 2019 International Wine Challenge (IWC).

Lothian Vineyards scoops the South African Chardonnay Trophy at 2019 IWC


Issued by Feed That Bird - Jun 7th, 09:29

Cool climate producer from the Elgin Valley, Lothian Vineyards, has scooped the coveted South African Chardonnay Trophy in the 2019 International Wine Challenge (IWC). The Lothian Chardonnay 2017 scored 95 points and won the IWC’s hallmark of excellence in Chardonnay with the Varietal Trophy in the global competition.  

The wine emanates from Lothian’s 3 blocks of Chardonnay and was hand-harvested at optimal ripeness. The precious elixir was crafted by Richard Kershaw, Master of Wine and Chief Winemaker alongside Assistant Winemaker Dudley Wilson at Lothian. Richard has also been instrumental in elevating the Elgin Valley’s high-quality production of Chardonnay.

The IWC, now in its 36th year, is widely regarded as one of the greatest commendations one can receive in the wine industry. Only a handful of South African producers won the rare prize. Alongside Lothian Vineyards was Paul Cluver, Bon Courage and Constantia Glen. Each medal-winning wine was blind-tasted on at least three separate occasions by a panel of at least 12 judges, including Masters of Wine.

“It is by far the greatest expression of Chardonnay we have created to date. Our location in Elgin with vineyards that are very near to a lake with high mist, creates a unique micro-climate. The wine expresses itself with an abundance of lemon, yellow grapefruit with sweet cream and hazelnut. Integrated toasty oak providing a rich body with a long, mineral finish." - Proprietor Gavin Wilson.

The colour is very bright and clear with flashes of yellow and gold. The nose is quite prominent and complex. It starts with notes of ripe oranges, bananas and tangerine peel. These light fruit notes move to a fuller expression of a Tarte Tatin made with pineapples. The entry is surprisingly bracing. The fine acidic backbone that gives this wine a lively tension asserts itself immediately. Flavours of yellow citrus, pineapple and nectarines come to the forefront with wood noted in the background. It provides a fragrant base and texture to the mid-palate. This wine has good length and all the while the flavours change in the mouth, the acid stands guard ensuring a very clean finish.

The 2017 vintage from Lothian Vineyards' 3 blocks of Chardonnay was hand harvested at optimal ripeness. The fruit was whole bunch pressed, with a period of skin contact. Fermentation was started in stainless steel tanks with ambient yeast. The fermenting juice was racked into a selection of French barrique followed by a period of batonnage to bolster the wine's mid-palate. Ten months of barrel maturation on the fine lees fleshed out the wine and added richness. Prior to bottling the wine was lightly filtered to preserve its integrity.

Winemaker: Richard Kershaw MW
Vine: clones 76, 95 & 548.
Block: Grapes hand harvested from 3 South & East blocks
Soil: Table Mountain Sandstone.
Grape Balling: 22-23
Coopers: Vicard, Berger, Pauscha, Francois Frère.
Wood: French oak, fine grain, long medium toast.
Maturation: 11 Months.
IWC Chardonnay Trophy
SA Sommelier Selection 2018
Gilbert & Gillard Gold
Platter ****

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