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The Kaaimansgat or Crocodile’s Lair vineyard is hidden away in the Elandskloof Valley behind the village of Villiersdorp, just 80km from Hermanus. A beautiful spot inside a blind valley nestled amongst majestic mountains. Bouchard Finlayson has been linked directly to this vineyard for close to twenty six years. It is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than other Cape Chardonnays and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures. The vines are not irrigated and they produce small berries of high skin to juice ratio, which adds an extra flavour component to this superior wine.
Wine of Origin: Kaaimansgat
Vintage 2019 will long be remembered for the raging wild fire that swept across the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the 11th January – less than three weeks before the first grapes were picked. We were fortunate not to be majorly impacted and brought in a healthy, yet slightly lighter crop. The reduced yield being the result of milder than normal winter temperatures. Weather conditions remained cool and relatively dry throughout February and March.
Harvest is invariably an exciting time awash with smells emanating from every corner of the winery, but few can rival the magical smell of fermenting Chardonnay in oak barrels. Bunches are added to the press intact and the juices extracted from the berries by long and gentle pressing, yielding more clarity and flavour complexities. Fermentation happens in oak barrels varying in age between new and fifth fill and typically lasts for a week. Thereafter, depending on vintage needs, a proportion of the barrels are prevented from completing malo-lactic fermentation, thus retaining palate freshness and gaining fruit focus. The final blend is racked from barrel following eight months maturation without any stirring of the lees and bottled with a light filtration.
Stunning initial aromas of spice intertwined effortlessly with citrus blossom and zest. Perfectly balanced textural richness is delivered with integrated oak support. The palate is refreshed by a persistent oyster-shell coated finish. A dynamic wine for any occasion.
Serve with pan-fried May Porcini mushrooms on bruschetta, freshly boiled West Coast Rock Lobster tail dipped in lemon aioli or simply from your favourite Chardonnay glass in good company.
Residual Sugar: 2.6g/l
Total SO2: 86mg/l
Volatile Acidity: 0.56g/l
Suitable for Vegans