From a treasured terroir Bouchard Finlayson releases its 2017 Sans Barrique Chardonnay

Bouchard Finlayson has received worldwide acclaim not only for its award-winning Pinot Noirs, but also for its range of exciting, full-bodied Chardonnays that is a showcase of one of South Africa’s most treasured Chardonnay terroirs. Within the stable, the boutique winery produces three Chardonnays that include its flagship white wine Missionvale Chardonnay, as well as Kaaimansgat Crocodile’s Lair; and Sans Barrique (unwooded) Chardonnay.

The 2017 vintage of the Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Chardonnay has recently been released and is now available at the cellar door (R151 per bottle) and leading wine merchants.

The wine is produced from grapes originating from the Estate, combined with those sourced from a unique Overberg vineyard site amongst the mountains behind Villiersdorp in the Elandskloof valley. Weather conditions helped to produce a top quality 2017 vintage that has produced a well-structured, crisp, white Chardonnay. Immediate hints of clarity and spritely fruit capture the clean palate feel and taste of this wine, while a host of perfumed reminders of apple, gooseberry, guava and sweet melon tease the taste senses. The organic compliment of lees tones adds complexity to assist with excellent aging potential – another signature characteristic of Bouchard Finlayson wines. Winemaker Chris Albrecht declares the wine a ‘shellfish delight’, perfectly paired with sushi, summer salads and all fruits of the sea.

Senior wine judge and founding member of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) Higgo Jacobs says: ‘Chardonnay has been on the bottom of plenty local wine aficionados’ shopping lists, and justifiably so for its clumsy oak and buttery flabbiness of decades of yore. But ignore it further at your own peril! South Africa is producing some of the best expressions in the New World, and the variety is popular almost globally. For those still stuck in the ABC (anything but Chardonnay) mind space, I suggest buying a good bottle of unwooded Chardonnay and ask someone to hide it in a line-up of some of your favourite whites and see what happens. These light, yet wonderfully complex and appetising wines show the charm of Chardonnay without oak support, and serve as a wonderful introduction to the king of white wines.’