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Lovely Creatures

2020

Chardonnay

Western Cape - South Africa

About

Playing with Chardonnay is something Stephanie loves to do, even if it is not a part of the Thistle & Weed selection.  When she has had access to great fruit, she has always said yes and historically would bulk the wine off to a buyer.  When the Lovely Creatures collaboration happened, she immediately knew the site from which to start the brand.  A single vineyard high in the Groot Drakenstein mountains of the Banghoek sub-region in Stellenbosch.  The vineyard was first planted in the late 1980s but the clones didn’t quite produce the way the growers had hoped, thus it was then replanted in 1999 and 2005.  The granitic soils have a clay, loamy richness to them that is evident in the texture the wine possesses, even with a rather early harvest date.
The fruit was hand-harvested in mid-February and whole-bunch pressed to stainless-steel tanks.  The juice fermented with ambient yeast and without any additions at a rather cool temperature.  After ten days the fermentation went dry and was racked with the gross lees to 10% older French oak barrels and the remaining amount back to stainless.  After ten months of aging the barrels were racked to tank and blended with the stainless lot and the wine settled naturally.  It was bottled without fining, and with a light filtration and sulfur addition.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
  • Vineyard: A single site in Banhoek Valley of Stellenbosch
  • Vine Age: 16-22-years-old
  • Soil Type: Sandstone & brown clay-loam over granite
  • Viticulture: Practicing organic
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless-steel
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 10 months in 90% stainless-steel tanks and 10% second use French barriques
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • pH: 3.3
  • Total Acidity: 5.8 g/L
  • Total SO2: 70 ppm
  • Total Production: 500 cases
  • UPC: 0788115423623

Tasting Notes

Medium bodied.  Expressive aromas of fresh apple slices, lemon drops, satsuma with a hint of grapefruit pith and a little vanilla dusting emerge on the nose.  The palate is bright and linear but with more broadness than you would expect.  The crisp notes on the palate bring a citrus note to the table and the mid-palate expands to a robust finish with great tension.  A fresh apricot note emerges on the finish that continues with a hint of baking spices.

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