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Glen Carlou Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from South Africa
  • WS88
  • WE87
14% ABV
  • WW89
  • TP90
  • WS88
  • WS89
  • WE88
  • WS89
  • WS88
  • WS91
  • WS88
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Color: Light gold with green hue.

Aroma: Green fruit, with a nutty butterscotch note. Ripe apple, hints of toffee and spice, subtle melon and citrus.

Flavor: The flavors are refreshing, with a great balance of fruit and acidity. Full-bodied with juicy apple flavors and well-integrated oak.

A wonderful vintage for Chardonnay. 2008 shows signs of true class and longevity.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator
A ripe, forward, crowd-pleasing style, showing a buttery edge to the pear and fig flavors, with a toasty, solid, medium-weight finish. Drink now.
WE 87
Wine Enthusiast
Here’s a riper expression of South African Chardonnay with forward aromas and flavors of baked pear, apple cider and walnut skins that linger through the buttery finish. Round and full in the mouth but not flabby. Drink now.
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Glen Carlou

Glen Carlou

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Glen Carlou, South Africa
2008 Chardonnay
Glen Carlou was established in 1985, and since 2003, Glen Carlou has been solely owned and operated by Hess Family Estates. Glen Carlou is located in the picturesque Paarl Valley in the Cape Winelands in South Africa. They enjoy a Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. An exciting variety of slopes and the riches of their soils create unique winegrowing conditions, while judicious vineyard practices ensure the cultivation of healthy flavorsome grapes reflecting the inherent characteristics of their terroir.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. 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, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping 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 the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

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 earthy, gamey 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 behind.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

EMP158045_2008 Item# 102287

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