91 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
Rustenberg’s estate Chardonnay is always a textbook Simonsberg expression of the grape, with pear, melon and citrus fruit, some cream from full malolactic, 25% new wood and a mineral backbone. Very drinkable. 2021-24
91 pts ‘Silver Medal’ 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards
Smart, compact, white blossom, white citrus, honeysuckle, apple pie, and a hint of fresh mint. Restrained, mineral and elegant
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 2020 vintage will be remembered as a good vintage produced under the spectre of the COVID-19
pandemic impacting the globe. Fortunately the harvest was not impacted on Rustenberg by the
government-sanctioned lockdowns, allowing all fruit to be picked and processed when ripe. A good winter
in 2019 saw a return to average rainfall for the year. Two unusual weather events in the growing season, a
large rainstorm and a heat wave, impacted some varietals flowering and berry set, however, in the context
of the entire vintage these had a minor impact. Crop levels were up by 15% from the 2019 vintage, which
saw a return to yields being average to slightly above average for most varietals. Quality wise, the white
wines have superb acids and more moderate alcohols with wonderful fruit concentration, while the reds
tend to be more medium-bodied with moderate alcohols, good freshness and supple tannins, potentially to
be enjoyed earlier.
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.