The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and its associated terroir has consistently proven itself as one of the Cape’s most treasured Chardonnay locations. It is therefore fitting that Bouchard Finlayson takes the lead in showcasing its delicious vintages as part of International Chardonnay Day on 23 May 2019.
The Chardonnay grape variety originated in Burgundy (France), but today is grown in most wine regions throughout the world. Chardonnay first became popular in the 1980’s and is now seeing a resurgence in the international consumer market where the new world Chardonnays are generally known for their buttery oak flavours.
In the words of Bouchard Finlayson founder, Peter Finlayson, Chardonnay is ‘the most malleable of all white grapes; it is the easiest to be good at but the most difficult of wines to make really great.’
Celebrated on the world stage year on year, the range of Chardonnays produced by Bouchard Finlayson has raked in a bouquet of awards presented to its three labels that include flagship Missionvale; popular Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat; and the unique, unwooded San Barrique Chardonnay.
Regarded as one of the finest Chardonnays, Bouchard Finlayson’s Missionvale Chardonnay is produced from grapes harvested exclusively from the Estate. The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the domain property in the early 19th century. The 2016 vintage has been lauded globally, bringing home a Gold Medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2018, and scoring 92 points from James Suckling and 93 points from Tim Atkin MW in his South Africa Special Report 2018. With eleven months in the best French oak barrels, this is a ‘commanding wine with solid backbone and a lengthy, lingering palate.’ Flavours of pear and melon enhanced by peachy taste sips offer a lively and long-lasting mouth feel. Best wood maturation has complimented to offer complexity and structure, which will grow and embolden this wine over the next five years. Expect nutty flavoured integration as the aging process evolves. Soft cheese, fish pâté, Bouillabaisse or fish all work splendidly with this vintage, as well as chicken or sushi dishes. (Bouchard Finlayson 2016 Missionvale Chardonnay R276 per bottle from the Estate)
Bouchard Finlayson’s Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat Chardonnay is crafted from grapes grown in the Elandskloof Valley behind Villiersdorp, 80km from Hermanus. Bouchard Finlayson has been linked directly to this vineyard for close to 26 years, which at 700m above sea level, benefits from cool autumn temperatures. The essence of capturing complexity drives the flavour profile of the 2017 vintage. Structured with many layered flavour components arising from combinations of the best French Oak, yeast, lees contact and finest fruit, which all reward the palate with a kaleidoscope of tastes. This pleasing palate adventure offers hints of litchi, white peach, kiwi fruit, strawberry smoothie and golden tangerine combining to generate a memorable taste experience. Aging potential is excellent. Winemaker Chris Albrecht quips: ‘Treat seriously and sip slowly, this is not just another glass of wine!’ The 2017 vintage scored 93 points in Tim Atkin MW‘s 2018 South Africa Special Report. A great companion to white meat and rich seafood such as lobster bisque. Other perfect pairing suggestions include soft cheese and mushroom risotto. (Bouchard Finlayson 2017 Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat Chardonnay R174 per bottle from the Estate)
Achieving the character associated with the best Chardonnay wines, usually happens through maturing in French Oak barrels. Without employing any magic recipe, the Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique lives up to its name (unwooded) in arriving through well monitored basic wine making. A pure expression from two locations – the Bouchard Finlayson Estate and the exceptional Elandskloof vineyards, grapes are fermented in stainless steel tank under ideal temperature control that has led to the arrival of a well-structured, crisp, white Chardonnay, after three weeks from harvest. A host of perfumed reminders relating to
apple, gooseberry, guava and sweet melon tease the taste senses while the organic compliment of lees tones adds complexity and assists with aging potential. This is a shell fish delight which is happily enjoyed with sushi, summer salads and all fruits of the sea. (Bouchard Finlayson 2017 Sans Barrique Unwooded Chardonnay R162 per bottle from the Estate)
ABOUT BOUCHARD FINLAYSON Established in 1989 in the temperate Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on 125 hectares (312 acres) of Walker Bay’s prime viticultural land, Bouchard Finlayson is a boutique vineyard and winery, dedicated to the quality production, including but not limited to, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Ever since releasing their first vintages, the name Bouchard Finlayson has been internationally synonymous with excellence. Today, owned by the Red Carnation Hotels’ Tollman family and under the leadership of Victoria Tollman, winemaker Chris Albrecht and a world class team who have a shared vision of excellence, 25 hectares (62 acres) of the estate are currently under vine. Fifty percent of the vineyards is devoted to the varietal for which Founder, Peter Finlayson is most acclaimed – Pinot Noir. Committed to protecting our environment, Bouchard Finlayson is a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion. Situated on the R320 near Hermanus, Bouchard Finlayson vineyard and winery is open for tastings and sales Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 and on Saturdays from 10h00 to 13h00. For further information, call +27 28 312 3515; email email@example.com; or visit www.bouchardfinlayson.co.za.
ACTIVITIES ON OFFER AT BOUCHARD FINLAYSON ENQUIRIES & RESERVATIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 028 312 3515 Business Hours: Monday to Friday 09h00 – 17h00; Saturdays 10h00 – 13h00
WINE TASTING Wine Tastings are offered showcasing Bouchard Finlayson’s latest vintages – white blend Blanc de Mer 2018; Sauvignon Blanc 2018; Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017; Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2017; Kaaimansgat/Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2017; Missionvale Chardonnay 2016 and Bouchard Finlayson’s famed red blend, the Hannibal 2016. Also available for tasting is South Africa’s pinot pioneer and founder of Bouchard Finlayson, Peter Finlayson’s award-winning flagship wine, Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (currently the 2017 vintage). Cost: taste three wines R30 per person; six wines R60 per person
PETER’S PICKS IN THE COLLECTORS’ CORNER Peter Finlayson has hand-picked a selection of special, older vintages that are on display and available for sale at the cellar door.
CELLAR TOURS AND LARGER GROUPS By prior arrangement and with advance reservation. R60 per person
DELI PLATTERS Generous platters served on wooden boards made from old wine barrels, laden with a selection of charcuterie, mild Gruberg cheese, Colby cheese, ciabatta, estate olive oil, olives, olive tapenade and mixed nuts. Cost R260, serving 2 people
SNACK BOXES FOR CHILDREN Includes a fruit juice, bag of cookies, dried fruit roll, packet of savoury provita crackers and mini cheese rounds. Cost: R70 per child
NATURE WALKS Guided Walking Trails (Choose between 45 minutes, 60 minutes and 2,5 hours) Cost: R400 for up to 6 people, thereafter an additional R60 per person – maximum 12 people in a group (Pre-booking a week in advance)