De Wetshof Bateleur Chardonnay 2013
This single vineyard Chardonnay portrays a spectrum of flavors framed in elegance and complexity, typical features of a classic Chardonnay. Citrus and pear-drop notes are complemented by an intriguing nuttiness, with elegant citrus on the finish. The Bateleur improves in dimension and complexity with age and under the correct storage conditions it can mature in the bottle for many years.
An elegantly muscular wine, Bateleur can be enjoyed with leg of lamb and other roasted red meat dishes, as well as with certain cheeses.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Danie began his winemaking career after studying at Geisenheim in Germany, returning to South Africa in the early 1970s to work alongside his father who began the De Wetshof Estate. Over the years, careful planning has gone into soil mapping the estate’s vineyards to identify the ideal terroir for the various varietals Danie nurtures both in the alluvial soils near the Breede River, as well as the lime rich slopes stretching up from the river. The Estate has become renowned for its elegant, award-winning wines and its innovative and advanced used of technology in the vineyard and cellar.
With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.
Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.
South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.
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.