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Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay


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The Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay displays a wonderful bright straw colour. The nose displays vibrant lemon and lime zest fruit, with hints of apple, pear drop, lychee and rose which overlays the mineral core. The palate is lush, the creamy texture is underpinned with beautiful mineral notes and hints of toasted almond and vanilla. The finish is lengthy and fresh with great minerality and a lovely nervous energy to it.

  • Country: South Africa
  • Region: Coastal Region
  • Subregion: Stellenbosch
  • Vintage: 2021
  • Colour: White
  • Grape Variety: Chardonnay
  • ABV: 13%
  • Bottle Size: 75cl
  • Closure: Natural cork
  • Style: Complex and elegant
  • Drink With: Roast chicken with a morel sauce

Glenelly's Grand Vin Chardonnay is the estate's signature white wine, fermented and aged in new and second fill 500 litre French oak barrels. It was left for 9 months on its lees, and spent a total of 10 months in barrel.

From Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages:

10 months in 500-litre oak. The creamy/mealy oak is evident but very well judged to allow pristine citrus fruit to show alongside the cedary aroma of the oak. Delicious and harmonious – an expert balance of fruit and oak with real elegance and length. Drink 2015-2020. 17 Points

From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:

Whole bunch fruit into barrel with natural ferment in 500-litre barrels and aged in 25% to 30% new oak, the 2014 Estate Reserve Chardonnay has an attractive bouquet that is well defined - grapefruit, lemon zest and a touch of lees coming through. The palate has good weight on the entry, just a hint of marmalade with lime and quince furnishing the balance and nuanced finish. Enjoy this over the next 8-10 years. 90 Points

About the grower

On the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, in the Ida's Valley of Stellenbosch, lies the Glenelly Estate. In 1682, Cape Governor Simon Van Der Stel ceded the land on which the Glenelly Estate now stands to a French Huguenot, François Villion. In 1812, the estate passed to Johan Peter de Villiers, and finally in 1911 it became the property of a British family, the Garlicks. They owned it for 92 years until, in 2003, Glenelly was bought by May-Eliane de Lencquesaing. For over 30 years, Madame de Lencquesaing had been the owner of the classed growth Bordeaux Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac. Her belief in the quality of the Cape’s terroir, her wish to play a role in the economic development of the newly democratic country and her desire to continue the three century heritage of French winemaking in South Africa all played a part in her decision to embark upon a new adventure.

The 123 hectare Glenelly Estate was formerly devoted to fruit production, but after an intensive study of the soil structure and weather patterns by Madame de Lencquesaing, 54.5 hectares were planted with red grape varieties and 5.5 hectares were given to white varieties. A small remainder was planted with olive trees and the rest remained as forest. There are 5 main red grape varieties grown at Glenelly: Cabernet Sauvignon for its structure; Syrah for the fineness of red fruit aromas and flavours; Petit Verdot to bring complex notes of liquorice and violets to a blend; Merlot giving freshness and fruity notes; and finally Cabernet Franc to pair with the Merlot, giving an almost Pomerol-style character to certain wines.

A new, gravity fed winery was completed in 2009, and everything is done in as natural and as environmentally friendly a manner as possible - even the concrete used for its construction was coloured in ochre tones to match the surrounding soils!