This is an exceptional Chardonnay. Kevin Grant is recognized as producing one of the Cape’s finest Chardonnay from his 50 hectare higher elevation perch in the Hemel-en Aarde Ridge ward just inland from Hermanus. This cool climate area is not only stunningly beautiful it is renowned for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which over time has proven to be South Africa’s premium region for the varietals. Kevin knows a thing or two about making top shelf wines having done a long residency as winemaker at nearby Hamilton Russell, along with ventures in Australia, New Zealand, the US and France where he honed his skills before setting up his own venture, Ataraxia.
Kevin’s wines are all about a sense of place reflecting the terroir in which they are grown and the maritime-influenced climate of the area. These low vigor, stony clay rich Bokkeveld Shale derived soils produce world class Chardonnay and as Tim Atkin says about the 2020 Ataraxia we are offering, which he anointed with a 94 pt score, states, “is consistently one of the Cape’s best Chardonnays, a wine that can rival a very good Cote de Beaune white Burgundy.” The big difference here being good luck finding a white Burgundy this good at this price point. That’s a hard task to match. For those who have an affinity for white Burgundy without the cost this is definitely worth the price of admission.
94 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
Fermented in 22% new wood without malolactic, this is consistently one of the Cape’s best Chardonnays, a wine that can rival a very good Côte de Beaune white Burgundy. Leesy, waxy and stylishly wooded with racy acidity and the concentration to age further in bottle.
In the most accurate and faithful way possible, our unapologetically wooded white wine mirrors the terroir in which our Chardonnay vines are grown. In other words, it is an expression of the low vigour, stony, clay-rich Bokkeveld Shale derived soils and the heavily maritime-influenced climate.
Made using uncomplicated (not simple) winemaking techniques, this is an athletic, chiseled and precise wine. It embraces the very adult tastes of salinity, brininess and minerality, all of which are the hallmarks of the great and classic white wines of the world.
As has become the norm in crafting Ataraxia Chardonnay, a minimalist, non-interventionist winemaking approach, geared to reflect sense of place and expression of terroir, was adopted. This wine is 100% barrel fermented and carefully matured in specially selected small French oak barriques sourced exclusively from Burgundian coopers. Fortnightly batonnage was employed throughout the 10-month maturation period.