2014 La Motte Chardonnay
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Grapes for this wine originate from La Motte, Franschhoek. The vineyard lies 200 metres above sea-level, against a southern and south-western slope.
As was the case during the previous year, the growing season was preceded by a good winter that ensured even budding. Ample ground-water and cool soils delayed budding, and harvesting started later. Temperatures rose, with regular rain that promoted growth and caused favourable conditions for disease. Good leaf management was required. Heavy rain was also received during middle January. The harvest will be remembered for its magnitude in the Boland. In spite thereof, the quality of the Chardonnay was very high. In general, ripeness occurred at lower sugars. The alcohol level for the season will, therefore, be low.
Vineyard blocks: 6 (4,9 ha) Soil type: Clovelly Direction planted: north-south Density: 4 630 vines per hectare (2,7 x 0,8) Root stock: Richter 99 Clone: CY 3 Year planted: 1997 Trellising: Perold Irrigation: Drip The vineyard is managed to maintain a perfect balance between leaf coverage and yield. It is managed biologically and is SGS-certified.
All the bunches were whole-pressed and the juice received a reasonable measure of oxidative treatment. The clean juice was transferred to 300-litre French oak barrels where it was inoculated with yeast and fermented at between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius. Malolactic fermentation was also in the barrels. One third of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks, without malolactic fermentation. After fermentation the lees was stirred regularly over a period of eleven months. 25% of the French oak barrels in which the wine was matured were new. All the components were blended subsequent to maturation and the wine was bottled in the La Motte cellar in June 2015. 4 000 cartons (6 x 750 ml) were released as 2014 La Motte Chardonnay.
The wine shows a typical Franschhoek character, with lime and lemon fruit, and cashew nut in the background. This flavour profile, together with a lower alcohol level, is fresher and more refreshing than in other years. The wine has ample finesse, with a lingering after-taste of green apple.
Alcohol : 12,35 % vol
Residual sugar : 1,5 g/l
Total acid : 6,1 g/l
pH : 3,55