2011 Lothian Vineyards Chardonnay Elgin (Previously $25)

SKU #1151652 Decanter

 Decanter 2013 World Wine Awards Medal Winner: "Complex fine balance with layers of melon, honey and brioche. Classy and very powerful with generous mineral lemon cream notes."

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Chardonnay has a slightly reduced bouquet at first but it opens nicely and offers attractive notes of honeysuckle and beeswax. The palate has good weight on the entry with honeyed fruit and touches of spice toward the finish. There is certainly good volume here...Fine. Drink now-2016. Lothian Vineyards is a relatively new name in Elgin, the first vintage released in 2010, albeit in very small quantities. Its name derives from the fact that proprietor Gavin Wilsonís ancestors all had Lothian in their name (nothing to do with a wall as suggested in Platterí's Guide.)...The 13.5-hectare vineyard runs alongside the Palmiet River, which at the time of meeting Gavin had broken its banks and flooded much of the estate (although the vines looked to be safe on higher ground by the photos he showed me). All the fruit currently comes directly from the estate but he might out-source some Shiraz in the future. The Chardonnay undergoes a natural ferment and spends around six monthís aging on the lees, after which it is racked with the lees stirred twice a week. Gavin told me that when Stephan joined Lothian Vineyards, he gave him two bottles of Puligny-Montrachet from Etienne Sauzet and said, 'This is what I want.'" (NM)  (10/ 2013)

K&L Notes

A rich and powerful wine from Lothian Vineyards' single hectare of Chardonnay vines. The fruit was hand-harvested at optimal ripeness and cooled prior to crushing, with a period of skin contact followed by light pressing. Fermentation was started in stainless steel with a combination of ambient and cultured yeast strains. The fermenting juice was racked into a selection of French barrique (15% new), followed by a period of intensive battonage to bolster the wine's mid-palate. Ten months of barrel maturation on the fine lees fleshed out the wine and added richness. Total production is only 400 cases.

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By: Joe Manekin |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/29/2014  | Send Email
Serious Chardonnay! This is creamy and rich, yet balanced and mineral as well. While so many Chardonnays are either overripe and aggressively oaked, or minimally oaked but one-dimensional and over-sulphured, it is refreshing to taste one that just shows great and drinks wonderfully right now! For those who value Chardonnay with bottle age, a hint of fat but tempered by mineral and elegant flavor development, this is as good a Chard as any in our current inventory.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M‚con, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.
Alcohol Content (%): 14