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Country: South Africa  Region: Western Cape  Grape: Chardonnay

Paarl (“pearl” in Dutch), is a wine-producing district in the Western Cape around the town of the same name. It is 37 miles northeast of Cape Town and north of Stellenbosch, another important wine region. Paarl is home to some of South Africa’s best-know wine estates. The overall climate is warm with a Mediterranean influence.

Backsberg currently has about 271 acres of vineyards, located along the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains, midway between Paarl and Stellenbosch, about 40 minutes from Cape Town. The region has a wonderful climate – full sunny days in the summer and cool wet days in the winter – a great location for growing grapes. It is one of the first wine producers in South Africa, and one of only three in the world, to gain Carbon Neutral status by sequestrating its carbon emissions.

With painstaking selectivity, fruit for this 100% Chardonnay nectar is picked at various stages of ripeness to create a layered and complex flavor profile.  Aging on the lees further contributes to the full body and creamy texture of this pale green with golden hues wine. Only 10,000 cases of this chardonnay by winemaker Alicia Rechner were produced.

You’ll be treated to a fusion of intense fruit-forward flavors of apricots, almonds and cream, balanced by a fresh citrus finish if enjoyed now. Properly cellared for up to 6 years, it will develop rich honey and nut flavors. Great with lobster, chicken or pasta.

CHARDONNAY — Chardonnay is one of the few grapes that does not require blending. It is a highly aromatic fruit of great complexity with a flavor intense enough to stand all on its own. It is the individual artistry of the winemaker and his fermentation and aging processes that bring out the intriguing variety of delicate aromas and flavors in the many different Chardonnays on the market today. Kudos to South Africa’s Backsberg Estate Cellars fruit-driven offering, handled with optimum care and expertise.

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Tracie Burket
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