Celebrating Chardonnay with Meyer Joubert


Every second year – like VinExpo in Bordeaux – Danie de Wet opens up his Robertson cellar on De Wetshof to Celebrate Chardonnay, his geliefkoosde druifsoort, as they say behind the grape curtain. This is one of those fortunate years and on Friday 31st October, UK wine writer Andrew Jefford will lead the event. Andrew is the off-sider of Jancis Robinson as wine columnist on the Financial Times. He is so good, we wish Jancis would go on holiday more often.

The form of the Celebration is to showcase Chardonnays from around the world and in the past, local winos have been approached to suggest their favourites. Well I’d like to get in early as last night I tasted a remarkable 2012 wine made in the Klein Karoo by Meyer Joubert at Barrydale.

IMG 3537 615x819 Celebrating Chardonnay with Meyer Joubert

While the colour scheme reminds of those blockbusters from the days of Giorgio Dalla Cia on Meerlust and the desert setting would lead you to expect power and richness, this wine is the opposite. Although fermented in oak, it is fresh, light and delicate, brimming with finesse. A most remarkable wine. A Chardonnay for sipping as artist Jan du Toit (below) remarked.

IMG 3534 615x819 Celebrating Chardonnay with Meyer Joubert

Meyer surprises in the red department too, with the R62 Cabernet 2010. This is yet another flavour profile for Cabernet in SA – suurvygies or hotnotsvygies as we’d say in the days before political correctness ruled the roost. Unfiltered, the texture is grainy yet at only 13% alcohol, the remarkably light hand of Meyer shines through. Truly, never has less been more.

Pencil in a John Waters thin moustache and Jan is a dead ringer for the late US playwright Tennessee Williams and this is one of those Night of the Iguana wines. Brimming with surpressed wildness and intrigue. The Chardonnay is more Streetcar Named Desire:

“The rest of my days I’m going to spend on the sea. And when I die, I’m going to die on the sea. You know what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed grape. One day out on the ocean I will die–with my hand in the hand of some nice looking ship’s doctor, a very young one with a small blond moustache and a big silver watch. “Poor lady,” they’ll say, “The quinine did her no good. That unwashed grape has transported her soul to heaven.”