The Dome Chardonnay 2018


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Ripe pineapple, melon and orange blossom flavours dominate on the nose, supported by hints of lemon cream, grapefruit and dried apricots. Flavours of white peach, cashew nuts and caramel linger on the pallet. The wine has a brilliant linear acidity and dominant dense core with layered sweetness due to the natural fermentation. The roundness on the pallet and a beautifully integrated texture supported by a creamy finish coats your mouth and make you want to spend more time in the presence of this big wine.

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Harvest Description

The preceding three years has been the driest in recorded history in the South African Wine producing regions. However, the hot, dry weather kept the vineyards largely disease and pest-free and while December and January were hot – hitting 35°C at times – there were no intense heatwaves and the end of the growing season grew cooler, leading to better colour and flavour in later ripening varieties (especially reds). We experienced thunder storms during the flowering season in November and a severe thunder and hail storm during harvest in February. Thunder and lightning are full of nitrogen, which get deposited in the vines making them lush and green, in turn that helped with the overall state of our vines and ripening in a very difficult and dry season. Due to our unique topography and high rainfall we had enough water for all the normal requirements of our vines during and after harvest. Due to the dry season the crop levels were a little bit less than normal, but our overall quality is deemed very high as much of the loss in overall volume was due to smaller berries and bunches which, conversely, should lead to a greater concentration of flavour and colour in the 2018 wines. The harvest dates were 15th February – 2nd March 2018.

In The Vineyard

Altitude: 200m above sea-level and close to the Lourens river
Age of vines: 13-17 years
Rootstock: 101 – 14 Mgt
Clones: Cy95, CY548, CY951
Slopes: Situated on a slight Western facing slope
Row direction: South-West to North-East
Soil type: Tukulu soil


Alcohol: 14 vol %
pH: 3.35
Total acid: 6.6 g/l
RS: 2.5 g/l
Closure: Hand Selected Quality cork

Wine Information

Cultivar: 100% Chardonnay
Wood: 62% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and moved to barrel halfway through the fermentation process. Of that, 29% went into new Burgundian wine barrels and 33% in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. The wine spent 8 months on its primary lees with intermitted barrel rolling to stir up the lees and release the manno-proteins in the yeast cells that adds flavour and structure to the final wine. 20% of the wine was fermented with wild yeast from the vineyard and without the addition of any commercial yeast in barrels. 38% of the wine fermented in stainless steel tanks and matured for 10 months on the fine lees in tanks before being blended back with the wood components. The wine spent 11 months in tank and barrel in total before bottling.

Food Pairing

This powerful wine can be matched up with strongly flavoured food like crayfish or smoked haddock in a creamy, saffron sauce. It is equally good with salmon or crab risottos. Serve chilled but not too cold.


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