Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika: Springfield Estate Chardonnay Méthode Ancienne 2006, Robertson

This time the actual wine ought to remain in the absolute centre of attention! Not so much winery talk or whatsoever. OK, let me anticipate a bit. A fantastic and simply unique wine (for RSA)! The Méthode Ancienne Chardonnay 2006 was produced by Robertson’s flagship winery Springfield Estate. I’ve got to admit: Not big adventure wine, nothing hyper curious, but profoundly impressive. Harvested from 25 year old vines (Clone CY3), fermented for more than 50 days with native yeasts, aged for 12 months in 300 l oak barrels (50% new, 50% used Allier) and the 3 Us: unfiltered, unfined and unstabilized. So much for the classic wine marketing babble nobody wants to read. Now wine!

The colour in my glass was rather dark, golden yellow without a lot of particles. Well, it needed the nose, just the nose, to conquer my heart. Oh, ... ! It proved be enormously complex and refined. I smelled a variety of lemon flavours, sweet’ish orange honey, tropical fruits like pine apple and hints of papaya, breakfast cereal, whipped cream and amazingly gentle scents of oak influence. A touch of classical Chardonnay spices weren’t lacking either. A nose full of character and impact! Bam!
At first the taste of the Méthode Ancienne Chardonnay impressed with plenty of tropical flavours, quite a lot of buttery aromas, hints of whipped egg whites, elegance, certain freshness and fantastic length. It was broad as well as sophisticatedly delicate. Some hours later the refined and very very very well balanced character of this Chardonnay got more and more impressive. The creamy and buttery attributes (in combination with a very gentle freshness) improved to almost unknown heights. The overall balance, including the slightly increased alcohol (14%, was never in the foreground anyway), took my breath away. Maybe by surprise, maybe by its overwhelming quality!?! I can’t and won’t tell. I just can say: It was a very damn good Chardonnay. Maybe like a very thoughtfully produced high class Meursault. Erase my last statement, please. I should not make such foolish comparisons. On the second day the quality and overwhelming impact hardly changed. Definitely unlike any South African Chardonnay I ever had. Fantastic! Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika!!!

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