House Of Mandela Royal Reserve Chardonnay 2009
Chardonnay from South Africa
This fine wine has a pale, gold color with tinges of green reflecting its youth. The nose shows typical aromatics of citrus and lime with light, toasted notes. There is a definite minerality on the nose, reflecting the cool terroir of the Elgin region and the microclimate of the vineyards on these rolling hills. These citrus, lime and brioche aromatics continue onto the mid-palate. The wine reflects a balance between fruit and natural acidity and the long finish shows balanced oak integration.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright yellow. Musky peach and apple aromas are complicated by a leesy nuance. A major step up in concentration from the basic chardonnay, with bright acidity framing and lifting the fruit-driven flavors of peach, lemon and pineapple. Finishes firm and persistent, with good flavor authority."
House Of Mandela Winery
The bee symbolizes the House of Mandela, it represents courage, compassion and a concern for others. Through sharing acts of kindness it invokes numerous relationship circles with family, friends and the broader community. It has a central function in our ecosystem as the pollinator of food crops and without it our world would be changed forever. The wings of the Bee also represent the many branches of our family; it depicts the never ending cycle of life, from seed to tree.
There are many synergies between the story of the House of Mandela and the process in which grapes grow and produce fine fruit. Wine improves with age and is a powerful symbol of transformation. Wine represents the coming together of all elements that we celebrate in nature. Wine has to be nurtured and cared for. It is used in many celebrations; it acquires status, and prestige.
Launching the House of Mandela brand and marketing South African wines is a winning blend. View all House Of Mandela Wines
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
About South AfricaRelated Links:
Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.