||The Fledge & Co
||Elgin, South Africa
||Citrus, green apple, mineral, honeysuckle and cream
||Lemon curd, green apple, melon and delicate orange blossom. Elegant yet complex with flavours of minerals, honeysuckle, butter, brioche and toasted almond
Philosophy – “U-Velaphi?” – a conversational isiXhosa phrase to ascertain from whence one comes, where one was borne, your tribe and thus determining your character. U-Velaphi? Chardonnay is an ode to the African hands, soils & vintage which created this wine & represent its truly unique origin. Each vintage features a photograph taken somewhere on our great continent.
Vineyard – This vintage once again combines equal parts from two climats in Elgin planted to Clone CY95: one along the Applewaite lake with the vines rooted in Table Mountain sandstone over white clay, the other 15km away on a terraced South facing site rammed into Bokkeveld shale with yellow clay, quartz & flecks of ironstone. Elgin’s macro climate is cool with the climats we source fruit from decidedly ultra cool. Elgin received decent rainfall & had a cold winter, the previous drought years effected yields dramatically, with a cool spring & war summer with significant rainfall creating challenges, the fruit achieved full flavour development at moderate sugars. All fruit was hand harvested mid-February through March, to maximize natural acidity & best express flavour ‘n aromatics. A vintage very much akin to the 2017 vintage.
Vinification – Both sites were hand harvested at dawn, gently crushed, allowed some skin contact while gently pressed in a small pneumatic press to a yield of only 5 HL/ton. Juice was settled overnight at low temperature, racked to 400L French oak barrels with fair portion of lees & inoculated with a “Champagne” yeast, cool fermented for a fortnight, racked to old 228L French oak puncheons & three new French oak barrels with fine lees, small sulphur addition and left undisturbed for 11 months with some going through MLF naturally & others not. A barrel selection was made, blended and left on its lees for a further six months through winter, prior to bottling unfined & unfiltered. Only yeast & small amounts of sulphur are utilized.
Wine – A buxom, opulent ‘n hedonistic with initial notes of ripe orange, toasted almond, lemon zest & bright spice with mouth filling breadth of fruit, but with time in glass the delicate nuances of lemon curd, brioche, delicate orange blossom, honeysuckle, melon ‘n white spice all wound up in a chalky, savoury ‘n palate whetting acidity. An ideal foil to fresh seafoods, a simple roast fowl with garden greens or an accompaniment to fine fromage. Best decanted & served ever so slightly chilled. Cellaring is advised, as this wine will require time to settle into itself, showcasing its intricacies and true nature.