Top 10 in the World for Durbanville Hills wine

Thursday, 27 March, 2014
Durbanville Hills
Durbanville Hills’ 2012 Rhinofields Chardonnay has been named one of the Top 10 in the world at the 2014 Chardonnay du Monde held in France recently.

The international panel of judges tasted 794 wines from 40 countries and Durbanville Hills shares the top position with France, Canada, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Australia and Spain.

Cellar master Martin Moore says the 2012 Rhinofields Chardonnay is a superb wine and he believes the technique used of rolling the barrels has contributed to the complexity of the wine.

“We follow a much gentler approach with our Rhinofields Chardonnay and believe that a Chardonnay should never be overpowered by wood. To ensure a seamless integration between oak and fruit we ferment and mature 60 percent of the wine in stainless steel tanks over a 12-month period. The other 40 percent spends the same amount of time in French oak barrels. We roll these instead of stirring the lees in the conventional manner.

“We reduce contact with oxygen by not having to remove the bung, thereby helping to preserve the wine’s delicate aromas and fruit flavours. The technique has imparted a deliciously creamy texture to the wine and the result is a full-bodied wine with flavours of zesty citrus, peaches, dried apricots, cedar, wood spice and almonds. It is one of my favourite wines to serve with creamy sauce-based dishes, cured ham, salmon and Eisbein.”

White winemaker Gunther Kellerman says the season brought very little rain making the harvest of 2012 one of the best they’ve had in years.

“The harvest was small but everything ran smoothly – the grapes were healthy with concentrated flavours and ready on time as we predicted. I remember we were quite excited in the cellar, anticipating that this particular chardonnay was going to produce an exceptional wine, and now we haven’t been disappointed by receiving this Top 10 award.”

The name of the Rhinofields reserve range refers to the indigenous Cape Renosterveld of which some species grow close to the Durbanville Hills cellar. As a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), Durbanville Hills and its member farms preserve 320 ha of this highly threatened vegetation.

The 2012 Rhinofields Chardonnay is available from fine wine shops and from the cellar for about R100 per bottle.