2015 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa

SKU #1311368 95 points Decanter

 An impressive Stellenbosch Chardonnay that wouldn't look out of place in Corton-Charlemagne with its complex leesy character. A mosaic of smoke and flint adds considerable interest to this charming wine. Plush aromas of buttery lemons, biscuits and honeydew melon translate well onto the palate. This wine combines power with restraint, richness with acidity, due in part to expertly handled oak. The intensity is palpable, and the flavour and aroma characteristics last a lifetime in the mouth.

91 points Vinous

 Palish bright yellow. Fresh peach, ginger, quinine and nutty vanillin oak aromas are complicated by leesy nuances and aromatic esters. Plush flavors of stone and citrus fruits, marzipan and savory minerals convey an almost exotic ripeness. Boasts lovely glyceral smoothness without any sacrifice of energy or shape. Finishes tactile and long, with lingering stone fruits. Always a gift at its moderate price, this Chardonnay is especially rich and seamless in 2015. (ST)  (5/2017)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 A gorgeous bouquet of apple skin, grilled pineapple, beeswax and a touch of baking spice sets the stage in this easy-to-like wine. The medium-weight body offers a superb balance of richness and freshness, with ripe, spicy fruit tones that harmonize with bright, lingering acidity, resulting in a fine overall texture. *Editors' Choice* (LB)  (4/2018)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From purchased fruit, the 2015 Chardonnay is matured in 300-liter barrels with three liters of lees added to each (25% new oak). It has a classic, powerful, generous bouquet with tropical fruit (guava and dried pineapple) that manages to regain satisfactory freshness. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity, just a hint of lychee rounded off with a pleasant saline note right on the finish. This is a well-made Chardonnay to drink now and over the next 4-5 years. (NM)  (4/2017)

Jancis Robinson

 Generous oak smoke with lovely ripe tropical fruit and a touch of clove. Super concentration and richness for the price – really delicious. (RH)  (4/2017)

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Price: $17.99

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Product Reviews:

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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2018 | Send Email
I was very impressed with this wine. May I even dare to utter the world Meursault? Well it sure has an intriguing nuttiness, and beautiful notes of cloves and cinnamon. I will keep an eye on this winery, as everything I tried from them was outstanding. That's a great bottle for those who want escape the sameness that sometimes awash the world of Chardonnay out there.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/2/2017 | Send Email
This wine comes across like white Burgundy, I do not know if it is the because the granite soils, the coastal wines but for a full malo Chardonnay this wine has freshness and drive that you do not normally see in the “new world” especially at that price point. The nose is toasty oak and cool fruits. The palate is cool stone fruits, sweet citrus that is framed with very reserved oak. This is will be a go to Chardonnay this summer for me.

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2017 | Send Email
A great South African Chardonnay that reminds me of Chablis, but with a touch of light and well integrated oak; no buttered popcorn here. Lemon zesty, lots of granny smith apples, acidic, and sharp aromas make this a great accompaniment to soft cheeses, fatty light meats, or just on its own.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2017 | Send Email
*Best Chardonnay under $50 I've tasted all year.* Here at K&L we have always loved the Rustenberg wines but when I saw the 95 point Decanter score drop with comparisons to Corton-Charlemagne I immediately asked our supplier to send us a sample for review. They had the prior vintage in stock so we had to bring this new 2015 release all the way from the importer in Florida and are the first to receive it here in California. But boy was it worth the effort! This wine is simply stunning. It smells, feels and tastes like high-end 1er Cru or Grand Cru Burgundy. What do I mean by that? Well it has that spectacular balance of concentration, power and focus you come to expect from the greatest Chardonnays. The fruit is intricately interwoven with minerals, fine oak and textural lees elements. The ripeness is perfect, the acid line is laser like giving incredible length on the palate. You simply won't believe what a complete wine this is for the money. Hands down one of the best value wines we have in stock.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2017 | Send Email
After reading the Decanter review, I had to try this for myself. Usually such bold promises at modest price points can be tough to live up to, but this hits the mark with room to spare. I can't say I'm surprised after tasting the remarkable Chardonnay values that our buyer brings in from South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand...but this one quickly became my favorite to date. A stunning seamless texture supports a bright, vibrant, balanced Chardonnay that reminds me of the poise and focus of a white Burg at multiples of this price. And although it is rote to grasp for a Burgundy corollary to qualify and Chardonnay, I just couldn't shake the thought while enjoying this bottle. Load up while available and enjoy anytime now or over the next 5 to 10 years.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2017 | Send Email
This is delicious Chardonnay and in my opinion is an incredible value at this low price point. It showcases the classic elements of Chardonnay with a touch of oak from the larger hogshead barrel and the rich mouthfeel from full malo. The cool winds of the Stellenbosch area helps to retain the acidity and showcase the soft fruits so the wine is never too ripe or flabby. An easy to choice for any occasion and a great white to stock up on this summer at a much better price point than Napa and Burgundy whites of this quality.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/13/2017 | Send Email
There are two wines from South Africa that I swear by, both for myself and for all customer recommendations. One is the Rustenberg John X Merriman cabernet. one of the best thirty dollar wines in the world, and the other is the Rustenberg Stellenbosch chardonnay, which tastes like high-end, balanced, and well-made California chardonnay or white Burgundy for a fraction of the price. In the 2015, you get the whole package: ample fruit, subtle vanilla from the oak, and plenty of acidity to balance out the two aforementioned elements. Not only is this chardonnay absolutely mouthwatering, it's versatile. You can drink it now, put it away until next year, or cellar it for an additional five. It's got the stuffing for the long haul, but it's approachable now. All that for less than twenty bucks. If you only drink one South African wine this year, the Rustenberg chardonnay is a great pick and its indicative of the great quality we've come to expect from the region as a whole.

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, 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.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14