Circumstance Chardonnay 2008

This Chardonnay shows intense lime and pineapple aromas on the nose, mingled with rich white peach characters. The palate is full yet elegant with wellintegrated oak and great length & complexity on the finish, a positive benefit of wild yeast.

variety : Chardonnay | 100% Chardonnay
winery : Waterkloof
winemaker : Werner Engelbrecht
wine of origin : Western Cape
analysis : alc : 13.5 % vol  rs : 3.0 g/l  pH : 3.16  ta : 6.5 g/l  va : 0.38 g/l  
type : White  style : Dry  body : Full   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 0  closure : Cork  

in the vineyard :  Circumstance Chardonnay is made from a small block which produces our best quality Chardonnay grapes on the low yielding and windswept slopes of Schaapenberg. Strong winds churn up the vineyards with regularity. This allows for low production and intense flavours.

The vineyards are about 4 kilometres from the sea, and are planted at a height of between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium size stones, helping with drainage but it also have a very good ability to retain moisture. The vineyards are of an average age of between 11 and 13 years. Production was approximately 6 tons/ha. No irrigation.

The 2006 vintage was characterized by a cold wet winter, followed by a relatively dry early growing season, with the wind up on the Schapenberg Hill blowing almost non-stop. This resulted in even smaller than normal bunches and berries, giving more concentration and flavour. Intensive vineyard practises were followed, including a lot of attention to bearer spacing during pruning. Excess shoots were suckered 3 - 4 times during the growing season. This ensured that no green harvesting was needed, except for the removal of weak shoots. Due to the small crop, the vineyards easily managed the dry conditions later in the growing season. The grapes had a very good natural acidity.

about the harvest: 

in the cellar :  The Chardonnay grapes showed great intensity and length, as a result only a portion of the wine (approximately 30%) was fermented in barrel. The grapes for the barrel component were whole bunch pressed and allowed to settle for 24 hours prior to racking into barrel.

Wild yeast was used to start fermentation. The wine was stirred every two weeks after alcoholic fermentation. No malolactic fermentation took place. Natural wild yeast fermentation was also used in the tank fermenting components. After fermentation the wines were left on fine lees for 8 months before bottling to add complexity and depth to the wine.