Meerlust Estate Chardonnay
Stellenbosch, South Africa
November 1, 2021, Neal Martin
“The 2020 Chardonnay has a lovely bouquet, gentle and harmonious, with touches of citrus peel, mirabelle and light stony aromas. The well-balanced palate delivers fine acidity, lime flavors and hints of stem ginger that combine neatly with the citrus fruit on the taut finish. Not amazingly complex, but a very competent Chardonnay.”
September 2021, Tim Atkin MW
“Meerlust Chardonnay has shifted in style since I last tasted it for the report and is now a much more focused, balanced white. Deftly oaked in 61% new barrels, it has lemon and lime flavours, some sea breeze freshness and subtle texture from partial malolactic. 2022-27.”
Meerlust Estate has been part of the Myburgh family tradition for eight generations, dating back to 1693. Long recognized for producing world-class wines, the Meerlust Estate is singularly rich in charm and history. Meerlust produces wines that are true to the intrinsic character of their vineyards located in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The diverse soils, unique coastal climate and over 300 years of dedication are all essential components of Meerlust's complex, rich and truly distinctive wines.
Picking of grapes were done by hand. A team of experienced pickers ensured that only the sound bunches were selected during harvest. Juice was settled overnight and racked with some solids still visible in the juice after racking. Alcoholic fermentation was done in barrel of which 61% were new and 39% second fill 300 liter barrels. Barrels were inoculated with selected Chardonnay yeast, while some barrels underwent un-inoculated, spontaneous fermentation. After fermentation, the wine was given a racking to remove heavy lees and returned to barrel for malo- lactic fermentation. The wine was barrel matured for nine months before bottling.
Very bright, polished platinum with green, vivacious hue. Complex, appealing nose with pear, citrus and floral notes developing into lemon cream, oatmeal, and marzipan richness. On the palate the wine is medium bodied and linear but retains generous focused citrus fruit flavors with sleek, balanced, and crisp acidity. The wine remains vivacious and fresh on the finish with clean citrus fruit and stony minerality. The wine has a long, very pleasant lingering finish. Decanting and exposure to air opens the aroma and palate of the wine.
Sourced from four vineyards on the estate situated on well drained Oakleaf, Dundee and Swartland soil types which produces the rich textured mouth feel and minerality. The oldest vineyards were planted in 2007 on Cartref soils giving a greater fruit expression. The vineyards are mostly south-facing towards the cool Atlantic of False Bay. Crop thinning occurred at pruning and at veraison.
Grilled fish, white and red meat. Ideally served at 12°-14°C.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Wine Alcohol: 13.5%
Titratable Acidity: 6.6 g/L
Residual Sugar: 3.4 g/L
Aging: Up to six years in ideal cellar conditions