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Tokara Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from South Africa
  • RP92
14.47% ABV
  • RP93
  • W&S92
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14.47% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine has a stunning vibrant golden straw color. The nose has intense aromas of orange blossom, lemon zest and ripe yellow fruits. The oak is evident with hints of toasted almonds. The palate is has complex flavors of pineapples, yellow peaches and honey dew. There are sunning notes of freshly baked bread, toasted nuts. The mid palate is focused yet rich and the oak is perfectly balanced just adding some structure and weight to the finish that is long crisp and textured.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay sees 11 months in tight-grain French oak of which 37% were new. It has a much more floral bouquet with mirabelle, dried apricot and a touch of butterscotch coming through with aeration. The palate is very well balanced and seems to have more substance and length than the 2013, with a crisp and vivacious orange zest and spice-driven finish. Excellent.
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Tokara

Tokara

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Tokara, South Africa
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Tokara, situated on the crest of the Helshoogte Pass in South Africa, produces innovative and distinctive wines under the Tokara and ZONDERNAAM labels as well as a limited edition five year pot still Brandy.

South Africa

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With an important wine renaissance is 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.

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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

WWH132754_2012 Item# 146240