Summer is in full swing, and it is the perfect time for Bouchard Finlayson to release its 2013 white wines – with the season proving to be a stellar year for its Blanc de Mer 2013, Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2013 and 2013 Crocodile’s Lair/‘Kaaimansgat’ Chardonnay.
Notes winemaker Peter Finlayson: ‘Vintage 2013 followed from a particularly long and protracted winter, which presented a late ripening season for most grape varieties - a situation which has resulted in some deliciously fruity white wines with confirmed racy structures!’ The new releases are available at the cellar in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, and at leading wine merchants around the country.
Bouchard Finlayson’s Blanc de Mer blend, which has been in existence for over 20 years, continues to gain international popularity, having recently been listed to the famous Moulin Rouge theatre in Paris. The 2013 vintage enjoys a 52% Riesling component in the blend, the highest proportion of Riesling in any vintage of Blanc de Mer to date.
The Bouchard Finlayson Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 vintage is the product of older Sauvignon Blanc vines, with some plantings now exceeding twenty years of age. These mature vines offer richness of fruit which extend to bolder wines as evident in the 2013 vintage, described by Finlayson as possibly the winery’s richest and most structured Sauvignon Blanc ever.
The un-oaked Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2013 meanwhile captures support from those who enjoy the flinty clean character of Chablis and similar wines. Says Finlayson: ‘The rich character of this wine stems from the clay based soils at the wonderful vineyard location of the Elandskloof Valley of Villiersdorp. Heavy clay and stony soils, non-irrigated with an excellent winter chill compliment, contributes to its confirmed flavour profile.’
Bouchard Finlayson’s 22-year association with the Kaaimansgat Chardonnay vineyard has become something of an institution, contributing greatly to its Chardonnay success. The late picking of the grapes – and subsequent early release of the 2013 Crocodile’s Lair/‘Kaaimansgat’ Chardonnay has offered fruit display and presents a bottling with floral notes which play to the ‘fresh palate’ enthusiasts.
Blanc de Mer 2013 (cellar door price R79)
A white wine for all occasions. 52% Riesling component, 20% Viognier, 11% Chardonnay, 9% Sauvignon blanc, 6% Semillon and 2 % Chenin blanc. This vintage is fresh and sprightly with fresh citrus and quince flavours. Lively on the palate but inviting and lingering which means it is an ideal companion to Oysters, sushi or simply as an aperitif.
Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (cellar door price R87)
This hand-picked estate fruit presents an intensity and spiciness with a haunting perfume of gooseberry and lemon grass layered over a mineral rich creamy palate. More tropical than grassy, with great fruit tones and lots of body. It is also expected to age well.
Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2013 (cellar door price R111)
Clean fruit flavours of green apple, gooseberry and guava present a classically straight forward and austere taste profile. Yeast flavours and an organic mineral quality arising from a small harvest of concentrated fruit add to its complexity and ageing ability. This vintage is an excellent accompaniment to lobster and other shellfish, or sushi.
2013 Crocodile’s Lair/‘Kaaimansgat’ Chardonnay (cellar door price R117)
The grapes were fermented in classic Burgundian fashion and allowed to age in small barrels in contact with the original fermentation yeast. The wine reflects a traditional mineral quality which is symptomatic of the vineyard’s austere location. While currently tight and fresh, the evolution of this bottling will gradually offer more pronounced nutty and creamy components with enhanced maturation flavours.
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