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Sans Barrique Chardonnay, Bouchard Finlayson

Bouchard Finlayson
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Technical Analysis
Alcohol
3.7
Residual sugar
2.7
pH
3.38
Acidity
6.2
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With fruit from two unique vineyard sites, Bouchard Finlayson's Sans Barrique cuvée enjoys no wood, which is the key to its crisp, clean personality.
Tasting note

Full and expressive, with luxurious aromas of Golden Delicious apple and fresh cream, wound around a pure and precise core. Succulent texture and fresh lemon rind flavours bring balance and focus into a substantial finish.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
No
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fined Using
Bentonite/Pea protein
Closure
Cork
Region
Elandskloof
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

Bunches are pressed whole and transferred to tank for cold settling over 36 hours. As with the wooded Chardonnays, the juice is intentionally left to start fermentation spontaneously, thus obtaining significant benefit from the natural occurring micro-flora. The wine undergoes no malolactic fermentation, adding further to its fresh appeal, with a six-month maturation period ‘sur lie’ building a rich element into the palate.

 

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.5
Residual sugar
1.6
pH
3.46
Acidity
5.7
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With fruit from two unique vineyard sites, Bouchard Finlayson's Sans Barrique cuvée enjoys no wood, which is the key to its crisp, clean personality.
Tasting note

Bottled finesse. Delicate green apple, umami and flinty notes on perfectly balanced, bright and refreshing acidity. Effortless density coats the palate on entry and focusses its energy towards the finish. This wine shows great promise and will reward further cellaring.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
No
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fined Using
Bentonite/Pea protein
Closure
Cork
Region
Elandskloof
Vegan
Yes

Vintage conditions

An unprecedented early harvest starting on the 18th of February, posed serious logistical issues for the winery, as they were still heavily involved in the picking of Sauvignon Blanc and estate-grown Chardonnay. Harvest of these typically small-berried grapes, concluded in the first week of March, when historically, sampling the vineyards would begin. Normal cropping levels and even ripening of the generally excellent fruit, leaves climatic conditions or the preceding dry years to blame for this occurrence.

Vinification details

Picked and transported chilled, in the early morning, bunches are then pressed and transferred to tank for cold settling over 36 hours. Only the clarified juice is fermented in stainless steel, where a long, cool fermentation encourages the development of a full spectrum of flavours. The wine undergoes no malo-lactic fermentation, adding further to its fresh appeal, with a 6month maturation period ‘sur lie’ building a rich element into the palate.

 

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
12.4
Residual sugar
1.5
pH
3.31
Acidity
6.7
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
With fruit from two unique vineyard sites, Bouchard Finlayson's Sans Barrique cuvée enjoys no wood, which is the key to its crisp, clean personality.
Tasting note

Fresh, with its hallmark lemony texture that hints at cool summer nights. Brilliant pear, quince and orange blossom focuses around a lively core of moderate intensity. The wine exhibits fine harmony, with a creamy substance expanding over the length of the palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
No
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fined Using
Milk
Closure
Cork
Region
Cape South Coast
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

With dry summer conditions of the past few years persisting, harvest commenced on the last day of February and continued intermittently for the following three weeks – an unusually long picking window. Fruit quality proved to be excellent and cropping levels were encouraging.

Vinification details

In line with previous vintages, the majority of this wine originates from the elevated vineyards of the Elandskloof. Bunches are pressed and transferred to tank for cold settling over 36 hours. Only the clarified juice is fermented in stainless steel, where a long, cool fermentation encourages the development of a full spectrum of flavours. The wine undergoes no malolactic fermentation, adding further to its fresh appeal, with a 6 month maturation period ‘sur lie’ building a rich element into the palate. An unwooded component of Bouchard Finlayson’s Estate Chardonnay is introduced prior to bottling, contributing a stone fruit complexity.

 

AWARDS
Tim Atkin MW: 90 pts Platter: 4*
Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.5
Residual sugar
2.0
pH
3.38
Acidity
6.1
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
With fruit from two unique vineyard sites, Bouchard Finlayson's Sans Barrique cuvée enjoys no wood, which is the key to its crisp, clean personality.
Tasting note

Clean and crisp, immediate hints of apple, gooseberry, guava and sweet melon tease the palate while the lees tones add complexity and boost the aging potential of this unoaked Chardonnay.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
No
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Chris Albrecht
Fined Using
Milk
Closure
Cork
Region
Cape South Coast
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

Summer conditions were markedly dry which led to a modest harvest. Although only a small crop was collected, the corresponding quality has proved to be encouraging.

Vinification details

Temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel tank, remaining on its primary lees for five months where the additional contribution of yeast autolysis increased complexity in the wine.

 

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
13.0
Residual sugar
1.7
pH
3.37
Acidity
6.0
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
With fruit from two unique vineyard sites, Bouchard Finlayson's Sans Barrique cuvée enjoys no wood, which is the key to its crisp, clean personality.
Tasting note

Immediate notes of clean, crisp apple and gooseberries in this unoaked Chardonnay, with an underlying creamy layer with hints of yeast, which enhances the richness of this vintage. The palate is straightforward and tropical with solid mineral qualities on the long finish.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Chardonnay
Malolactic Fermentation
No
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Blank
Winemaker
Peter Finlayson
Closure
Cork
Region
Cape South Coast
Vegan
Blank

Vintage conditions

Vintage 2016 was kind – at times the summer was hot but the late ripening character of the Elandskloof Valley grapes helped bypass the peak summer period and deliver super unblemished fruit. The crop levels were generous but not too heavy.

Vinification details

All grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks with a short maturation on gross lees. No malolactic fermentation was introduced in the preparation of this wine. Without the added spice of French oak, this Chardonnay relies on developing its charm from a clean, temperature-controlled fermentation, where the emphasis is placed on developing rich fruit flavours.