Bayten Buitenverwachting Chardonnay 2018
This full bodied, rich Chardonnay offers a powerful citrus and steely backbone. Classic toasty and butterscotch-like characteristics merge with mineral undertones. A good balance of oak is followed with abundant fruit.
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The 2018 Chardonnay Bayten begins with delightful French baking spices of cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom, expressing first on the nose before sweet citrus and pomaceous characteristics sway with elements of lemon pastry cream, caramel apple pie and graham crackers. Medium to full-bodied, the wine has a rich, creamy texture with elements of white spice and minerality that sway with a soft waxiness across the mid-palate. The finish concludes with tones of Meyer lemon and an oaky essence of spiced chai tea. Bravo! It's delicious, balanced and delivers well for the price. Rating: 91+
One of South Africa’s premier wine farms, the beautiful Bayten estate is situated on east-facing slopes of the magnificent Constantiaberg mountain, just south of Cape Town and a few short miles from False Bay. This cool-climate coastal area is renowned for elegant white wines that possess an intense, minerality.
In 1981, the Mueller family purchased the estate and began to replant the vineyards and restore this shining jewel to its former glory. Under the direction of current proprietor Lars Maack, a modern wine cellar was constructed, featuring state-of-the-art winemaking equipment and a temperature controlled barrel maturation area with a capacity of 3,000 barrels.Today Bayten has earned a reputation as the source of some of South Africa’s most exquisite, mineral-tinged white wines. From racy Sauvignon Blancs to elegant Meursault-like Chardonnays, cellar master Hermann Kirschbaum and winemaker Brad Paton continue to craft stunning wines that deliver on that promise to exhilarate the senses.
Bayten’s vineyards, planted on a variety of ancient decomposed granite soils, are dry farmed, with an average yield of five tons per hectare. The farm embraces a variety of holistic farming practices, and even allows free running baboons to perform a natural “green cropping” of sorts. A portion of the estate has been dedicated to a conservancy in order to preserve indigenous flora and fauna, and a section of the vineyards is currently undergoing organic certification. Bayten is also home to one of South Africa’s finest restaurants, consistently rated among the top ten in the country.
One of the most famous and celebrated wine regions imported throughout Europe during the 18th century, Constantia was founded in 1685 by a Dutch governor named Simon van der Stel who ran a successful wine farm for many years.
Constantia vineyards, planted in ancient soil beds, climb up the east-facing slopes of the Constantiaberg, where the vines receive cool sea breezes blowing in from False Bay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.