Unveiling Excellence: Waterford Estate's Single Vineyard Chardonnay

By Jeremy Maarschalk

Tuesday - 22 May 2024

In the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands, found in the Blaauwklippen Valley, amidst the sun-drenched vineyards, resides a passionate team of winemakers, a team dedicated to imbuing the terroir of the estate into every vintage. Working with the land to create a legacy not only for Stellenbosch wine but for Waterford Estate.

Boasting 120 hectares of land with only 50 hectares under vine, the estate bears a part of Stellenbosch winemaking history in our Chardonnay vines. Planted in 1988 this three-hectare size block is the third oldest Chardonnay planting in the country and produces just enough grapes for the Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay.

The Flavour of Terroir

The journey of this remarkable Chardonnay with terroir-rich vineyards, lends depth and character to the grapes, resulting in a wine that transcends time. These vines require the most attention and the vines have developed their personality and are stuck in their ways. This means that our team has to do several harvests in just this small block to ensure that each vine's yield is picked at its optimal ripeness. This handpicking is a labour of love and requires nurturing with care, to ensure we get the most out of these incredible vines.

Drawing inspiration from old-world traditions while embracing the innovation of the new world, the cellar team guide the wine to its full potential with a gentle use of oak.

This winemaking ethos results in a nose that follows the appearance of the wine showing a warm welcoming richness with an undertone serving to add interest to the accompanying light toasty notes. The body of the wine is round and balanced with a fresh acidity bringing tension into the wine while the palate shows honey melon and a rounded toasty oak all balanced by a complex zesty minerality.

The Vivino Verdict

As acclaimed by Vivino users, this Chardonnay is a favourite among Stellenbosch offerings. With a dry, complex minerality, it presents an intense array of citrus fruits, intertwined with delicate floral notes. Subtle hints of lemon curd and a rich texture add depth, while the fresh acidity brings balance and tension to the palate. The layered finish persists, leaving an impression akin to the finesse of a Chablis. Its hard not to see why it is a favourite.

The accolades awarded to the Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay speak volumes about its exceptional quality. With a Vivino rating of 4.1 stars and recognition as one of the top 25 Chardonnays in South Africa, this wine has garnered global acclaim. Robert Parker, the esteemed wine advocate, awards it 92+ points, praising its seductive oak notes, succulent acidity, and food-friendly finish.

Tim Atkin, renowned wine critic, lauds its subtlety and focus, awarding it an impressive 94 points. He notes the wine's citrus nuances, nuanced oak, and mineral core, showcasing a commitment to quality that transcends geographical boundaries.

A Top Contender in South Africa

Acknowledged by Winemag.co.za as one of the top ten Chardonnays in South Africa, the Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay has solidified its position as a leading contender in the realm of fine wines.

Elegance Redefined

The Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay is a journey of elegance and sophistication. With each sip, one experiences the harmonious blend of old-world charm and new-world innovation - a testament to Waterford Estate's unwavering commitment to excellence.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with fine cuisine, this wine elevates any occasion, leaving an idyllic mark on your palate.

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