Saturday, 12 January 2013
Eikendal Chardonnay 2010/11
Eikendal Chardonnay is Eikendal's flagship white wine, according to their website, and is oaked for 7 months before bottling, so I was expecting a certain amount of intensity, although not so much as one might expect from an Aussie oak-monster of a Chardonnay. My thoughts at the time of tasting are as follows:
Nose: Surprisingly, given the oak, this was a light-smelling Chardonnay than many others I have tried. It was grassy and perhaps a little minerally with distinct notes of green apple and lemon coming through. After some time a hint of toasty oak began to emerge. The citrus was, however, the clearest of the identifiable aromas.
Palate: My first impression was 'smoky sweet'. It was pleasantly tasty with a decent level of stone fruit (peach, perhaps some apricot) with a little dollop of honey coming in at the back. After a few sips, however, it began to taste a little light and overly sugary. Perhaps even insipid. My standard tasting measure is around 50-75mls, so for a wine to become cloying after such a short period (admittedly without food) is not an entirely positive sign.
Body: The body remained remarkably light for an oaked Chardonnay throughout and altogether not what I was expecting. Perhaps there was too much focus on attempting to achieve a Burgundian minerality when making this wine and less was thought about how this would affect the wine's structure.
Finish: Longer that I would have thought given the lack of body and pleasant. More citrus, especially lemon, with a slightly grassy tang.
Conclusion: Clearly an ambitious attempt to make a Burgundian-style wine in South Africa, but did it really work? Well, it was a perfectly nice wine to begin with and showed some potential for development, but the slightly sugary taste meant that I was unable to say with certainty whether or not I liked it. I feel that with some well-chosen food matched with it (grilled fish or any white meat) or perhaps another year or so in the cellar this could have been a thoroughly decent wine.
Points: 84. Pleasant enough but there wasn't quite enough depth to make me want to drink this again. The citrus made me feel that this was in fact a Sauvignon Blanc in disguise.