Looking for something a bit different to pair with the warmer weather? With the splash of the swimming pool or the salty spray from the sea? While Sauvignon Blanc has become synonymous with hot days and long lunches, unwooded Chardonnays offer a luscious alternative – one which more and more people are inclined toward for good reason…
Forget the notes of vanilla and buttered toast most often synonymous with Chardonnay, the unwooded version offers crisp flavours of lemon, red apples, tangerine and green melons, coupled with a lively, lip-smacking acidity you didn’t know Chardonnay was even capable of.
Popularised by Chablis, a region about 80 miles Northwest of Dijon, France in Burgundy, unoaked Chardonnay, has since taken off around the world.
Constantia Uitsig’s version (one of the only examples of unwooded Chardonnay in the entire Constantia Valley), possesses an abundance of green melon, juicy red apples and lemon zest, a lovely texture and moreish complexity, leading to a superbly long finish.
After harvesting the grapes in the early hours of the morning, the juice is treated oxidatively without any skin contact. Free run juice is then settled overnight to allow bitter phenols to settle out after which, the clear juice is racked to stainless steel tanks.
Two different fermentation temperatures are maintained during fermentation; ensuring a complexity of flavours. Then, after fermentation, the wine is left on the lees for a few months. This extended time on the dead yeast cells adds mouthfeel and complexity to the wine without diminishing its vibrancy and lightness.
Ideally paired with fresh summer fare (with just a hint of citrus inspiration), this could become your new go-to wine for the sizzling season ahead… give it a try!
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