2011 Lothian Vineyards Chardonnay Elgin (Elsewhere $35)
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)
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.