2014 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa

SKU #1237859 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sourced from three parts of Stellenbosch, 60% of the fruit from the estate, the 2014 Chardonnay is barrel fermented with 12 months in oak and it goes through full malolactic. It has a very well defined bouquet that is minerally and tense with lime flower and a touch of smoked almond. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of passion fruit on the entry with well judged acidity, and it gently rolls out on the peachy finish. You couldn't really ask for more at this price. (NM)  (11/2015)

91 points Vinous

 (about 60% from the estate, the rest from other parts of Stellenbosch; fermented with wild yeasts in 300-liter hogsheads, then aged for 12 months in barrel with lees stirring every two weeks; went through full malolactic fermentation): Very pale color. Sexy oak spices complicate aromas of tangerine, lemon, quinine, sponge cake and flowers. Intense, dry and savory, boasting lovely leesy complexity but also terrific acidity. Finishes long, with good phenolic grip. (ST)  (6/2015)

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Price: $19.99
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- 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, Mâcon, 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.

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