De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay: 30 Years of Elegance
Finesse is one of five Chardonnays made by De Wetshof Estate in Robertson, a pioneering South African Chardonnay producer. The 2019 vintage of this wine marks the 30th anniversary of Finesse, which De Wetshof owner Danie de Wet introduced into the market in 1989 aimed at consumers preferring a lightly-wooded Chardonnay.
In 1989 the South African Chardonnay industry was barely 10 years old, with most producers using copious wooding in their wines and not appealing to all consumers. With the Finesse, De Wetshof aimed for a lighter-wooded style of wine accentuating the diversity and freshness of the Chardonnay grape.
Now, 30 years on, De Wetshof Finesse remains one of South Africa’s most popular Chardonnays.
Vines for Finesse grow on rocky, gravelly soils on De Wethof Estate. The soils are characterised by the high levels of limestone, one of the features of the Robertson Wine Valley. Vines growing in soils rich in limestone produce grapes of balanced pH levels that add complexity to the wine as well as ensuring their ability to age.
The wine is mostly fermented in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, specially selected to express the fruit nuances in the wine and subdue the stern effect of oak. After fermentation the wine ages in the barrels for 10 months. Stirring of the lees is done every week to add texture and mouth-feel.
This is up to the consumer! But the aim is a Chardonnay driven by citrus and white-flowers, light, elegant and charming on the palate with lots of life and freshness. Showing the amazing versatility of this grape variety.
The wine drinks well on its and compliments seafood (think a delicious mussel pot), rissotos( mushroom rissoto is my favourite although I struggle to perfect this dish) or just a hearty pasta.
You can purchase the De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay directly from their online store at R147.oo per bottle.
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