Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2018
Grapes selected from the oldest Chardonnay vineyards on our Estate was whole bunch pressed, settles without any settling agents. The wine was then transferred to barrel for fermentation, a 100% non-inoculated fermentation in a selection of French oak barrels. (30% new, the rest 2nd and 3rd fill.) Lees stirring was done to a lesser degree than previous years to retain freshness. The wine remained on the lees for a total of nine months without any sulphur addition. A small proportion of the total blend underwent malolactic fermentation, we like to retain as much as possible natural acidity which give great freshness to the wine.
After tasting and blending trials, the wine was assembled from the best barrels; stabilized and prepared for bottling.
We were very fortunate to have had four very exceptional successive vintages for Chardonnay. With the 2015 vintage we produced a very elegant Chardonnay that was very tight with great freshness. 2016 was a vintage with great opulence and more richness. The 2017 vintage gave us a combination of characteristics of both
the 2015 and 2016 vintages. The Seven Flags Chardonnay 2018 is a great combination between elegance and concentration. The wine shows a light hay hue and the nose is expressive with notes of fresh citrus zest which is complimented by stone fruit and hints of oak. The palate is an exciting combination of crisp citrus fruit with great complexity, concentration and hints of oak in the background. The wine is elegant with a long and lingering finish.
Fish, poultry, pork and game bird dishes work well with this wine. It works particularly well with creamy pastas and salmon dishes. The good acidity and balance between wood and fruit keeps the wine from being overly rich and consequently, great without food too. Mussel soup is a perfect match.
VINEYARDS AND VINES
Currently there are 13.7 hectares planted to Chardonnay on the estate, which equates to 18.2% of the total plantings. Clones include 76, 95 175, 270, 548 and 1066. The first vines were planted in 1987 and the youngest blocks in 2016. Vines range in age from 2 to 31 years. The soil is predominantly decomposed
Bokkeveld Shale with underlying clay layers of varying depths. Vines are planted on East, South east facing and South- South West facing slopes. Height above sea level ranges from 280 to 350 meters. The grapes for the Seven Flags Chardonnay is selected from the two oldest Chardonnay vineyards on the property and the oldest vineyards in Elgin. These south facing vineyards are planted to clones 175 and 270.
We started harvesting Chardonnay the 22rd of February and finished the 8th of March. Fortunately,
we do experience very cool night temperatures in Elgin, this helped the grapes retain freshness. The grapes for the Seven Flags Chardonnay was harvested on the 5th and 8th of March from our oldest Chardonnay Vineyards planted in 1987.