When in comes to Chardonnay in South Africa there is such a selection of bottled finesse to choose from that we need to be grateful to our winemakers who just seem to be getting it right, time and time again.
So this is what to look for in a good wooded South African chardonnay:
Delicate management of the wood. It shouldn’t feel as if you are licking an oak tree. The woodiness should embrace all elements of the wine and give you a fuller mouth-feel. While the real hallmark of a fine chardonnay is the foundation of lime citrus, which underpins the whole experience. You should be left with this as a lingering aftertaste.
A quick search on Wine Wizard shows that some chardonnay producers have real pedigree.
Ataraxia: 2010- Vintage 90 points; 2011- Vintage 91 points; 2012- Vintage 90 points
Paul Cluver Wines: 2010- Vintage 91 points; 2011- Vintage 91 points; 2012- Vintage 85 points
De Wetshof Estate: 2010- The Site Chardonnay 85 points; 2012- Limestone Hill Chardonnay 90 points; 2013- Bon Valon Chardonnay 83 points.