95 pts Winemag.co.za November 2021
Kara-Tara is a joint venture between Rüdger van Wyk and José Condé of Stark-Condé, two wines appearing under the label, these being a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – the name Kara-Tara refers to a river that runs through Van Wyk’s hometown of George and the choice of varieties inspired by a postgrad harvest that he worked in Burgundy.
The 2020 vintage of the Chardonnay is a revelation. 82% of grapes were sourced from the Overberg and 18% from a 40-year-old vineyard in Paarl, while winemaking involved 50% fermentation in stainless steel tank and 50% neutral oak before maturation lasting nine months. The nose shows a hint of reduction before citrus, floral perfume and spice while the palate combines power with energy – great fruit purity and racy acidity before a savoury finish. Very well proportioned – intensely flavoured without being overly weighty. Plenty of Wow!
91 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
Stark-Condé winemaker Rüdger van Wyk’s own project is a Western Cape blend that uses grapes from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, the Overberg and Paarl. Subtly wooded, with a smoky top note, plenty of refreshing acidity and pear, oatmeal and tangerine flavours. 2021-26
4 ½ Stars 2022 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Gorgeous expression of honey, stonefruit & lightly roasted hazelnut in 20 (91 pts). Lively, balanced & fresh, enduring citrus finish. 40 year old vines in Paarl (18%), rest Overberg; 50/50 ferment in old barrel & tank, then 9 months in oak – well worth all the effort.
Grapes for the Chardonnay are sourced from 2 vineyards in the Western Cape. One is an old-vine vineyard in Paarl. This is not an area typically associated with fine Chardonnay but this 40-year old vineyard produces grapes with great flavour and intensity. I blend this with grapes from the Overberg region which adds minerality and acidity to the wine.
Kara Tara Chardonnay has the classic notes of lemon and grapefruit you’d expect from Chardonnay, with hints of
almond and a fine, mineral finish.