South Africa’s top Chardonnays for 2013 revealed

Friday, 25 October, 2013
Sanlam Private Investments
South Africa’s leading Chardonnays were revealed at a gathering of wine lovers in Cape Town yesterday.
The 2013 Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report, drawn up by wine commentator Christian Eedes in partnership with Sanlam Private Investments (SPI), aims to celebrate the top-end of what Eedes describes as ‘the wine with a universal following – arguably the best dry white wine in the world’.

An expert judging panel, led by Eedes, chose the country’s top 10 Chardonnays after tasting 60 wines which fared well in recent local or international competitions, as well as wines Eedes considered to be the best in their field. “Our aim was an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the category in question, and all wines submitted received a rating and a detailed tasting note,” says Eedes. 

Eedes says the stylistic variation of Chardonnays has never been wider. “There seems to be a growing realisation that to compete at the top end of the market, playing it safe is not going to cut it. Consequently, there are some really innovative, even wacky, wines out there.”

He says although in recent times the trend has been towards wines that are clean and crisp, there seems to be a shift back to making more mouth-filling, broad-flavoured wines. “There are two five-star wines in this report. The Groot Constantia 2012 has a good core of fruit, oak adding heft, bright acidity and a saline finish; and the Paul Cluver 2012 is pure and focused, with a lovely tension between concentrated fruit and a riveting line of acidity – a very classy offering.”

Daniël Kriel, chief executive officer of SPI, says SPI is delighted to have once again partnered with Christian Eedes in the compiling of this year’s Chardonnay Report. “From an investor’s perspective, fine wine is a ‘passion investment’ and has historically served investors well. As an alternative investment option for high net worth clients, it is likely to continue to grow in worth. This report is an excellent reference for potential investors to identify top-quality South African wines. Congratulations to the winning winemakers – the top 10 wines were truly a delight to taste.”

The Christian Eedes Top Ten Chardonnay wines for 2013 are: 

Five stars 
1. Groot Constantia 2012
2. Paul Cluver 2012

Four and a half stars 
3. Hamilton Russell Vineyards 2012
4. Haskell Anvil 2012
5. Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch 2012
6. KWV The Mentors 2012

Four stars
7. Boschendal Reserve Collection 2012
8. Crystallum The Agnes 2012
9. Fleur du Cap Unfiltered 2012
10. Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2011

For further information, or to download the full report, visit Sanlam Private Investments website or What I Drank Last Night website.