92 pts tim Atkin MW 2020
Half the price of the Five Soldiers release and not far behind in terms of quality, this Chardonnay has shifted in style of late towards more precision and minerality. Aniseed and pear flavours lead you into a fresh, well-balanced finish with just a hint of oak. 2020-24
Rustenberg is a well-known producer of high quality Chardonnays and the Stellenbosch Chardonnay embodies our house style. Careful tending and selection in the vineyard followed by traditional wild barrel fermentation and maturation produces a classic Chardonnay balancing the expression of fruit, freshness, full malolactic fermentation and the influence of oak.
The 2019 vintage was a challenging one for the Rustenberg team. While the winter of 2018 was a welcome break from the previous four winters of drought, most vineyards had not fully recovered and produced below average yields. A warm snap in June and a wet Spring, coupled with a wetter than average Summer harvesting season made 2019 a challenge, with some late harvest thinning or multiple harvests of the same vineyard required to achieve uniformity. Early and mid-season ripening varieties performed well, all achieving flavour ripeness at lower alcohol levels, while late ripening varieties required patience and extended time on the vines, again achieving lower alcohols overall, but creating ripe, structured wines.
Apricot, coconut and orange peel aromas followed by flavours of marzipan, sponge cake and citrus rounded off with carefully judged oak and balanced, fresh acidity.