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Missionvale Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

Bouchard Finlayson
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Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.1
Residual sugar
1.6
pH
3.42
Acidity
5.7
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The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the property in the early 19th century. All grapes are estate grown.
Tasting note

Crystalline and energetic at its core, the wine exhibits forward ripe pear and floral aromas. Seductive and refined, this complex white is superbly balanced. Delicate citrus notes neatly balance a fine texture.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
Partial
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fining Agent
Bentonite
Closure
Cork
Region
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Vegan
Yes

Vintage conditions

Cold and exceedingly wet conditions occurred during flowering and berry set late in 2021, pushing the onset of the harvest season ever later. The ripening season of January 2022 however, saw some of the hottest and driest conditions that have been recorded over the past seven years; the rainfall received for this period was atypically low. This allowed for a long, healthy ripening of a concentrated crop. Minimal disease pressure and dilution resulted in the production of fruit of an outstanding quality, in which full phenolic ripeness and refreshingly low natural sugar

Vinification details

A systematic evaluation of the Chardonnay vineyards’ indigenous yeast population, delivers promising results with 40% of the barrels in this wine completing fermentation un-inoculated. Spontaneous onset, assisted by late inoculation with locally sourced organically grown natural yeast, is responsible for the balance of alcohol conversion. Now an established component of the final blend, 8% was fermented and matured for 9 months in amphora, the balance in French oak. Bottled with light filtration in February 2023.

 

AWARDS

DWWA: Silver
Wine Advocate: 92+

AWARDS
IWC 2024 Gold
IWC: Gold
Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.1
Residual sugar
1.5
pH
3.35
Acidity
5.5
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the property in the early 19th century. All grapes are estate grown.
Tasting note

Sleek and refined, this complex white is filled with saline energy, highlighting a core of green apple, subtle pear and lightly toasted spice. Delicate citrus notes neatly balance a fine texture. Effortless weight and precise acidity close harmoniously. Its impressive youth should improve through to 2026.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
Partial
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fining Agent
Bentonite
Closure
Cork
Region
Hemel-en-AardeValley
Vegan
Yes

Vintage conditions

It’s been remarked before how the weather, during recent odd vintages, seems to behave to the benefit of local vintners. 2021 followed this pattern of 2019, 2017 and 2015. Yields varied significantly between cultivars and apart from  big rain event on 14 March, dry and cool conditions prevailed during picking. Phenolic ripeness out performed sugar accumulation in the berries, resulting in juices with low potential alcohol and balanced natural acidities.

Vinification details

Widely planted and well respected for its low production of high quality fruit, the Missionvale is a singular expression of the 95 clone. Now an established component of the final blend, 6% was fermented and matured for 9months in amphora, the balance in French oak. Although a third of the barrels employed were new, a large proportion have a 350L capacity, therefore reducing the amount of oak extracted. Bottled with light filtration in February 2022.

 

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.6
Residual sugar
1.4
pH
3.33
Acidity
5.4
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the property in the early 19th century. All grapes are estate grown.
Tasting note

Light golden-green hued. Enticing scents of lemon curd and hay filled by white peach, juicy melon and salted almond. Detailed and layered spine of vibrant acidity evoke images of a sun drenched beach. Concludes in a long creamy finish.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
Partial
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fining Agent
Bentonite
Closure
Cork
Region
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Vegan
Yes

Vintage conditions

Spring 2019 saw ideal weather conditions during flower and fruit set, heightening expectations for the upcoming vintage. However, hopes were soon challenged by the atypical and unstable weather presented early in the New Year. Fortunately, dry conditions set in as soon as harvest commenced, with the crop remaining healthy. Volumes recovered slightly from the light 2019 vintage and all-round, unexpectedly positive, fruit-quality was delivered to the cellar.

Vinification details

Four estate vineyards, planted between 1999 and 2010, contribute to this wine. Regardless of the yeast strain responsible for fermentation, they experienced remarkably high rates of sugar to alcohol conversion during this vintage – a favourable outcome, as the potential alcohols seemed low initially. Only 2% of the cuvee was amphora fermented, a result of the freshness captured in the wooded portions. Matured sur lie for 9months in French oak. Bottled with light filtration in February 2021.

 

AWARDS

IWC & IWSC: Silver
Platter: 94 pts

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.5
Residual sugar
2.3
pH
3.46
Acidity
5.4
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the property in the early 19th century. All grapes are estate grown.
Tasting note

Elegantly rich, yet seductive, the wine compounds flavours of juicy pineapple, pear and toasted hazelnuts. Broadly expansive with clove and nutmeg neatly wrapped around a refreshing seashell core. Fine harmony.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
Partial
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fining Agent
Bentonite
Closure
Cork
Region
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
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 11 January – less than three weeks before the first grapes were picked. Bouchard were fortunate not to be severely impacted and brought in a healthy, although significantly lighter crop. Chardonnay is particularly sensitive to warmer spells during winter, which activates premature budding. Sunny conditions during July 2018 resulted in unprecedented uneven growth and ripening. Weather conditions remained cool and relatively dry throughout February and March.

Vinification details

Harvesting was based on individual bunch ripeness, rather than the usual vineyard average, necessitating up to three picks per vineyard. Fermentation of the clear juice commences spontaneously in oak, before inoculation midway to ensure complete dryness. 5% of the bottling was fermented in terra cotta amphora, which afforded the winemaking team an opportunity to fine-tune the volume of tension. Apart from 8 months in oak, elevage was completed by a 2 month resting period in tank, prior to bottling in January 2020.

 

AWARDS

Tim Atkin MW: 93 pts

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.4
Residual sugar
2.7
pH
2.28
Acidity
5.5
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the property in the early 19th century. All grapes are estate grown.
Tasting note

Invitingly rich, with textbook mineral intensity slicing through bright peach and fresh grapefruit flavours. Exhibits ginger and nutmeg spiced notes. Balanced beams of oak and fruit complexities are focused by a refreshing lemon rind finish. Lingers effortlessly.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
Partial
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Closure
Screw top
Region
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Vegan
Yes

Vintage conditions

Vintage 2018 commenced on 8th February. Fruit quality proved to be excellent and cropping levels were encouraging, this in spite of drought conditions being the talk of the day. Fortunately, the Hemel-en-Aarde region’s distinctive micro-climate defied the predictors of poor expectations. The few rain showers received during the vintage was a positive experience and added to the calibre of the vintage.

Vinification details

Hand-picked bunches were pressed without crushing and settled overnight, before being transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation. A third new oak was employed, including some 350L barrels to complement the traditional 228L barrels. 10% of the bottling was fermented in terracotta amphora, which afforded the winemaking team an opportunity to fine-tune the volume of tension. Apart from 9 months in oak, elevage was completed by a 2 month resting period in tank, prior to bottling in January 2019.

 

AWARDS

IWSC: Gold
Tim Atkin MW: 93 pts
Wine Advocate: 92 pts