2021 Warwick White Lady Chardonnay
This pale straw colored "White Lady" Chardonnay is the top model of the South African winery Warwick . The location of the vineyards, somewhat higher on the foothills of the Simonsberg, is equally ideal for the Chardonnay grape. The grapes can therefore develop a combination of freshness and strength. The grapes are harvested from beautiful vineyards, where 3000 vines per hectare are planted. It produces a wine with exceptional power and depth, which deserves to mature in beautiful French oak. The wine ferments in barrels, and a mixture of new and used barrels is used for maturation: one quarter is new, one quarter has been used once, and the rest of the barrels have been used three or four times. The lie, the dead yeast cells, are stirred into the wine weekly – bâttonage – to give the wine more depth and complexity. The result is a Chardonnay with a Burgundian allure!
In the nose, the White Lady has notes of white fruit such as pear and peach, but after some rolling, there are also notes of honey, caramel and some (oak) wood because then the vanilla and a little caramel. In the mouth the wine is very powerful with a juicy taste but also with good freshness and nice acidity; the wood does not dominate in the taste either; pleasantly classic in style but everything is well balanced. Not surprising that the White Label comes in a Burgundy type bottle because it certainly has similarities with this (except for the price). The White Lady is a beautiful fish wine, delicious with gravad lax, lobster, scallops with vanilla sauce, also with a carpaccio.
Warwick Estate is located near Stellenbosch, on the way to Paarl. This winery has a long history that dates back to the year 1791. In the time between 1791 and 1920 it had a different name and was called "Good Success". This name was changed to Warwick by the then owner Alexander Gordon after the Warwickshire regiment in which he served. In 1964, Stan and Norma Ratcliffe purchased the estate and began planting Cabernet Sauvignon. At that time they sold the grapes and did not use them for their own production, even though Norma wanted to. She studied winemaking and a wine cellar was built. The first Vintage from Warwick was 1984. Stan and Norma's son Mike have been at the helm of the company for several years now. He is helped by winemaker Louis Nel.
Warwick's wines are certified organic, which means that no artificial fertilizers, chemical pesticides and no pesticides such as herbicides are used. At Warwick, they go one step further and determine the sun and moon phases of the harvesting and pruning activities
Without any exaggeration, we can say that Warwick Estate is today one of the leading wine companies in Stellenbosch, and even in South Africa. That, of course, does not come out of the blue. In the first place there is of course the special terroir, in a unique place: directly to the west of the monumental Simonsberg, the high mountain that dominates the region and which also determines the climate of the region. Warwick Estate is located in a valley enclosed by the Simonsberg, Kanonkop and Klapmutskop. The historic farm, now called Warwick, was called 'Good Success' from 1791 to 1902. After the Boer War, the farm was bought by Colonel Alexander Gordon, who baptized him 'Warwick', after the army unit he served for, the Warwickshire regiment. Later the company fell into disrepair and when it was taken over by Stan & Norma Ratcliffe in 1964, there was no sign of a grape. Stan and Norma soon realized that they had acquired a special terroir for wine growing and it was not long before they decided to plant cabernet sauvignon, a grape really made for this region. These cabernet sticks yielded high quality grapes, which were in great demand among traders and other wineries for making great wines. Norma herself became more and more interested in wine making and decided to follow a training as a winemaker. Norma and Stan decided to build a cellar and in 1984 the first 'own' Warwick wine was born, a Cabernet sauvignon. Norma turned out to have the talent to make great wines and the production could increase year on year - both in quality and quantity. The Bordeaux blend Trilogy, which was launched in 1986, quickly became one of the major flagships of South African wine growing. This was emphasized when he was chosen by South African President Thabo Mbeki to be served at an official dinner for President George Bush. It is a recognition of the rare qualities of the Warwick winery. Meanwhile, winemaker Norma has stepped back after 20 years, and has been succeeded by Louis Nel, who is widely regarded as one of South Africa's most talented winemakers. And in 2001, Mike Ratcliffe, son of Norma and Stan, was appointed general manager. He graduated from the University of Adelaide with a degree in wine marketing. This makes Warwick fully equipped for the future.
|Type of Wine||White|
|Drinking as of||2023|
|James Suckling rating||91|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Rich, Round, Full, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard, Romantisch|