Plaisir, Chardonnay 2020
Plaisir was founded by French Huguenots some three centuries ago. They came to South Africa with old-world winemaking expertise that influences the winery to this day.
For this wine, grapes are harvested by hand, before being sorted, crushed and barrel fermented in new French Oak. Batonnage and lees ageing is used, and partial malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur.
The result is a richly textured, supple wine. Expect notes of white peach, ripe apple, almonds and butterscotch, with a decent acidity to match.
WINE MAKER: Niel Bester
WINE OF ORIGIN: Simonsberg, Paarl
ANALYSIS: ALC: 13.12% | RS: 1.2 g/l | PH: 3.59 | TA: 5.6g/l
TYPE: White | STYLE: Dry | BODY: Full
COLOUR: Light straw with a green tint.
BOUQUET: Tropical and citrus notes with aromas of roasted almond nuts.
TASTE: Crisp citrus flintiness with white pear, dried apricot notes. The finish is plush and full.
FOOD PAIRING: Enjoy on its own or with fish, white meats and salads.
AGEING POTENTIAL: This wine will mature well for 5 years and more.
VITICULTURIST: Freddie le Roux
IN THE VINEYARD:
The diversity of the soils, slopes and elevation is closely linked with the quality of Plaisir de Merle wines. Well-drained, weathered granite soils (predominantly Tukulu and Hutton), with good water retention, allow the three dry-land Chardonnay vineyards to capture the true character of climate and soils in its fruit. The vineyards, aged 8 to 9 years are situated between 250m and 450m above sea level on the southeastern slopes of the Simonsberg.
IN THE CELLAR:
The grapes were harvested by hand at 23.4 to 24.5 Balling. The grapes were divided into four different parts and each crushed, clarified and fermented separately in 300-litre French oak barrels. A combination of first-fill (56%), second-fill (24%) and third-fill (20%) barrels were used and the wine remained on the lees for 9 months. The barrels were rolled or stirred regularly to suspend the lees in order to gain complexity, better integrated oak flavours and to add to the mouth-feel of the wine. Partial malolactic fermentation contributed to the wine’s complexity, softened the acidity and contributed to the sweet, rich and full finish. The individual barrels were then tasted and the blend composed.
Brown-butter ravioli with sage.