Opulent, yet refreshing. Smooth, yet intricate. Classic, yet modern. A play of opposites marks the release of the 2022 vintage La Motte Chardonnay.
For those a bit more serious about wine, information about the growing season as well as vineyard and cellar practices might, however, be required.
About the vineyard: Franschhoek-based at an altitude of 200 metres above sea-level, against a southern and south-western slope. Growing in sandy soils of sandstone and granite origin, with the oldest and largest block planted in 1997. A natural low yield – usually between 5 and 6 tons per hectare. Sustainably farmed and managed for a perfect balance between leaf coverage and yield and also to enable harvesting on different dates – for optimum acidity and a variety of fruit profiles. Grapes were picked by hand.
About the growing season: A sufficiently cold and wet winter, although such conditions continued into budding, adding to disease pressure from powdery mildew. The summer was relatively cool and supported good flavour development. Late January heatwave conditions resulted in some sunburn as well as a slightly lower acidity and higher pH levels than the previous vintage.
About the winemaking: With initial fermentation in stainless steel, 75% of the blend enjoyed further fermentation as well as malolactic fermentation in barrels, while the remainder of the juice was only fermented in stainless steel and without malolactic fermentation. The 2022 La Motte Chardonnay underwent maturation in 300-litre French oak barrels (20% new oak) for 12 months and was bottled at La Motte during June 2022. 6250 cases (6 x 750 ml) were released in 2023.
Cellarmaster’s impressions and tasting notes: Lovely as a solo glass for those who prefer a white with substance, but also exceptionally versatile as a partner to food. A light straw colour in the glass. Fruity nectarine and citrus blossom on the nose with hints of cashew nut and baked bread as subtle evidence of wood maturation. The palate is juicy and polished, medium-full, with abundant citrus and succulent peach. The wine has a lively length and plenty of freshness for a wood-matured wine.
Food pairing suggestions: The wine’s velvety undertones complement seafood in all its forms – from luxurious caviar, crayfish and pâté to the simplicity of mussels. It is a classic with creamy cheese and egg dishes such as quiche and soufflé and a charming choice with subtle spice.
Perhaps all that remains is to pour a glass and experience it for yourself.
Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Supplied