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Domaine des Dieux, Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, 2016

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 "A smart cool-climate Chardonnay. About 30 per cent new oak. A perfect, luxurious but keenly priced alternative to white burgundy with a little bit on the end. Ambitious and refined. Great texture. Delicate.", Jancis Robinson, FT Weekend Magazine, 5th December 2020

Domaine des Dieux, Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, 2016

Product Code: DDD116

Stone, Vine & Sun rating

Dry

Rated 1 out of 5
Dry > Sweet
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Region: Hemel-en-Aarde
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Colour: White
  • Bottle Size: 75cl
  • ABV: 13.5%
View other wines from this grower

 "VGV, 16.5/20", Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com, 11th November 2020

Lovely bright hue – does it have a hint of green? As ever, rich and opulent, showing lime and cream, whilst restrained by a chalky note. In short: a classy, full-flavoured, perfectly-ready-to-drink, barrel-fermented and aged (about 30% new oak) Chardonnay of concentration and length. Now-2023 

The previous vintage wine won the Veritas Vertex Award for the overall champion wine in the 2019 Veritas wine awards in the Cape, and we are pleased to report the 2016 is arguably as excellent, and benefits from a lower alcohol level too.

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, which translates as Heaven on Earth, rises prettily from just west of Hermanus. When we first visited in 2003 the wineries, notably Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson, were all in the lower part of the valley, but more recently plantings at the top of the valley - higher, drier, with warmer days but cooler nights - have increased.  Enjoying naturally low pH soils, and moderate temperatures, cooled by winds from the ocean, this really is a sweet spot in the Cape.

Domaine des Dieux is a small estate just above Ataraxia at the very top of the valley in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge zone. The farm, with vineyards on the slopes of the Babylon's Toren mountain, was bought in 2002, with an initial focus on making the first sparkling wines in Hemel-en-Aarde (and boy have they succeeded) but still Chardonnay and Pinot Noir followed. Des Dieux have an interesting model: they have 20 hectares of unirrigated vines but no cellar (and no electricity on site either!).  Winemaking of each of the wines is overseen by a specialist winemaker in local cellars.

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