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Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

The Crocodile's Lair vineyard is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than others and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures.

Stunning initial aromas of spice intertwined effortlessly with citrus blossom and zest. Perfectly balanced textural richness is delivered with integrated oak support. The palate is refreshed by a persistent oyster-shell coated finish.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

13.5 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.6 g/L

pH

3.43

ACIDITY

5.6 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Chris Albrecht

VARIETY

Chardonnay

FINED USING

Bentonite

TIME IN OAK

8 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Partial

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Walker Bay

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

Yes

Vintage conditions

Vintage 2019 will long be remembered for the raging wild fire that swept across the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the 11th January – less than three weeks before the first grapes were picked. Bouchard were fortunate not to be majorly impacted and brought in a healthy, yet slightly lighter crop. The reduced yield being the result of milder than normal winter temperatures. Weather conditions remained cool and relatively dry throughout February and March.

Vinification details

Bunches are added to the press intact and the juices extracted from the berries by long and gentle pressing, yielding more clarity and flavour complexities. Fermentation occurs in oak barrels varying in age between new and fifth fill and typically lasts for a week. Thereafter, depending on vintage needs, a proportion of the barrels are prevented from completing malo-lactic fermentation, thus retaining palate freshness and gaining fruit focus. The final blend is racked from barrel following eight months maturation without any stirring of the lees and bottled with a light filtration.

Awards

IWC & IWSC: Gold
Tim Atkin MW: 94 pts

Green credentials

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion and accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Tasting video

With winemaker Chris Albrecht.

 

 

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... this is zesty, well balanced and effortlessly complex...

Tim Atkin MW

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Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

The Crocodile's Lair vineyard is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than others and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures.

Sleek and refined, a most enjoyable spicy lemon drop aroma announces white peach, nectarine and pear on the palate. A refreshing salinity graces a lasting finish.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

13.7 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.9 g/L

pH

3.38

ACIDITY

6.0 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Chris Albrecht

VARIETY

Chardonnay

HARVEST DATE

February 2018

TIME IN OAK

8 months

SULPHUR

Total: 89

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Partial

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Overberg

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

Yes

Vintage conditions

Yet another low yielding vintage from this very consistent vineyard. Fruit health however proved to be excellent with the smaller bunches providing great flavour concentration. The first pick was as early as the last day in February and continued over the next two weeks.

Vinification details

Bunches were added to the press intact and the juices extracted from the berries by long and gentle pressing, yielding more clarity and flavour complexities. Fermentation took place in oak barrels varying in age between new and fifth fill and typically lasted for a week. Thereafter, a proportion of the barrels were prevented from completing malolactic fermentation, thus retaining palate freshness and gaining fruit focus. The final blend was racked from barrel following eight months’ maturation without any stirring of the lees and bottled with a light filtration.

Awards

Tim Atkin MW: 93 pts
DWWA: Silver
IWSC: Silver

Green credentials

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion and accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Tasting video

With winemaker Chris Albrecht.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

Elandskloof [Valley] makes brilliant, ageworthy Chardonnays and this is definitely among them.

Tim Atkin MW

Download full size images

Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

The Crocodile's Lair vineyard is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than others and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures.

The essence of capturing complexity drives the flavour profile of this Chardonnay. Structured, with many layered flavour components arising from combinations of best French oak, yeast, lees contact and the finest fruit, which all reward the palate with a kaleidoscope of tastes. This pleasing palate adventure offers hints of lychee, white peach, kiwi fruit, strawberry smoothie and golden tangerine combining to generate a memorable taste experience.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

13.3 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.9 g/L

pH

3.32

ACIDITY

6.1 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

VARIETY

Chardonnay

TIME IN OAK

8 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Overberg

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

Yes

Vintage conditions

Low yields, but fortunately one with positive quality results. While the summer was dry the weather remained mild and every opportunity was presented to provide the cellar with exceptional fruit quality, resulting in an excellent wine.

Vinification details

Grapes arrived at the cellar in the early morning after enjoying an overnight cold room treatment. Grapes were then pressed ‘whole cluster’ in order to follow traditional Burgundian winemaking practices. Such whole cluster pressing provides the added complexity of small amounts of flavour from the stalks and skins. The clarified grape juice was allowed to settle before initiating fermentation under controlled conditions. The next phase was to transfer fermenting must to oak casks before point of peak fermentation arrived. The wine was left in barrel (20% new oak) for eight months and finally only removed closer to the moment of preparing for bottling.

Awards

IWC 2019: Silver
Tim Atkin MW: 93 pts

Green credentials

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion and accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

Download full size images

Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

The Crocodile's Lair vineyard is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than others and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures.

Deliciously complex with fresh crisp fruit flavours of gooseberry, sweet melon, jasmine and rose petal. Further nutty and creamy components will enhance the development of the taste profile to allow for added interest as the wine matures!

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.0 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.3 g/L

pH

3.51

ACIDITY

5.4 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Peter Finlayson

VARIETY

Chardonnay

HARVEST DATE

February 2017

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Overberg

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

Yes

Vintage conditions

The Kaaimansgat vineyard is traditionally only ready for harvesting well into the month of March but this time the first grapes from this vintage were collected on 23rd February, the earliest on record. The crop was positively healthy and presented some of the finest fruit seen in a long time!

Vinification details

Grapes were refrigerated overnight and delivered the next day to the cellar where they were cold pressed. Pressing whole clusters was practiced in order to follow old Burgundian traditions which pre-date modern destalking techniques; Bouchard Finlayson believe this allows for greater grape flavour character and better juice extraction. Once the Chardonnay juice was clarified, yeast inoculation took place and the fermenting musts weare transferred to barrel when ferments were 30% underway. All the Chardonnay was barrel fermented with a new French oak complement of 20%.

Awards

IWSC 2018: Silver Outstanding
IWC 2018: Silver
DWWA 2018: Silver

Green credentials

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion and accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

The so-called Crocodile's Lair in Elandskloof is one of the best, cool climate Chardonnay sites in the Cape.

Tim Atkin MW

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Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

The Crocodile's Lair vineyard is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than others and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures.

Rich in flavour with a distinctive mineral quality. Lots of melon, green apple, lychee on the palate, with slight vanilla tones from the French oak maturation. Creamy components will expand with time enhancing the flavour if further maturation is encouraged.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

13.8 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

1.7 g/L

pH

3.47

ACIDITY

5.3 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Peter Finlayson

VARIETY

Chardonnay

TIME IN OAK

5 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Overberg

Vintage conditions

This was an early vintage where impressive fruit presented a high potential opportunity to succeed with super wines. No rot was recorded and the natural fruit acid levels were achieved under ideal conditions.

Vinification details

Grapes were refrigerated overnight and delivered the next day to the cellar where they were cold pressed. Pressing whole clusters was practiced in order to follow old Burgundian traditions which pre-date modern destalking techniques; Bouchard Finlayson believe this allows for greater grape flavour character and better juice extraction. The clarified must was allowed to commence fermentation in the tank before transfer to 228 litre casks for continued barrel fermentation and consequent maturation on the lees. Malolactic was allowed to take place in the oak barrels.

Awards

IWC 2017: Gold
Tim Atkin MW: 95 pts
eRobertParker.com: 90 pts
JamesSuckling.com: 91 pts

Green credentials

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion and accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

Download full size images

Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

The Crocodile's Lair vineyard is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than others and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures.

The dry land nature of this vineyard also offers a distinctive mineral quality, which allows greater maturation potential. Beautifully fresh and crisp, with obvious gooseberry flavours surrounded by subtle oak nuances.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

13.0 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

1.0 g/L

pH

3.29

ACIDITY

6.4 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Peter Finlayson

VARIETY

Chardonnay

HARVEST DATE

February 2014

TIME IN OAK

5 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Overberg

Vintage conditions

Vintage 2014 commenced on the 12th of February, much later than normal, after a long and possibly the wettest summer on record with 610mm of rainfall recorded from October to March.

Vinification details

The 2014 vintage offered near perfect fruit with great malic acid levels, converted through secondary fermentation to softer and more complex lactic acid, which contributed to greater complexity. Additional time on the lees in small barrels (228l) with a maturation of 5 months in 12% new French oak barrels contributes to its distinctive creamy texture.

Awards

IWSC 2015: Silver
Wine Merchant Top 100 Winner 2016

Green credentials

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion and accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss