4 ½ Stars 2020 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Latest 17 (93 pts) reflects increased flinty tension, agile lightness of foot enhanced by bright citrus zest. None at expense of characteristic creamy lees, oatmeal & nutty savoury concentration. Oak (70% new 300L) complementary. Lovely potential.
91 pts Wine Advocate March 2020
Bursting with oak tones and spices that jump out of the glass along with aromas of apple, pear and white acacia flowers, the 2017 Chardonnay Five Soldiers has an impressive depth that can be sensed on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, the Chardonnay shows an impressive balance with an open-knit palate that delivers pleasure. This wine checks all of the boxes that I would want out of a Chardonnay, with vanilla oak tones, pear cup and lemon panna cotta, ending with a lingering soft, oaky finish. Well done! 2020-2026
This wine is named after the five large stone pine trees on a hill standing sentinel over the Five Soldiers vineyards. The Five Soldiers is the apex of Chardonnay at Rustenberg and is a highly collected wine.
Characterised by measured power and complexity, it is designed to be drunk with food and will benefit from a few years of careful cellaring. It illustrates the true character of each vintage and is a barrel selection of the finest batches of Chardonnay each year.
The Winter of 2016 was dry but cold as drought conditions persisted in the Western Cape. Despite the drought, a warm, dry spring and little wind meant that there was little disease pressure and little stress on the vineyards beyond the heat. Harvest started slightly earlier than usual but was 10 days later than the record early start of the 2016 vintage. Careful use of irrigation to offset the dry drought conditions and cold nights
experienced during the first four months of the year resulted in superb quality, and wonderful acidity, colour and flavour concentration in the wines. Indications are that 2017 will be an excellent vintage with plenty of potential to age well.
Characters of ripe citrus, melon and peach with great minerality, rounded out by well-judged oaking. A very complex wine with a long and creamy finish and a good acid backbone.