In 2020 this Chardonnay is all still sourced from one single Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge block. Mindful of the wine’s youth, I opened my sample and tasted over two days to give the wine the full benefit of oxygen. This certainly is a very impressive wine and a considerable step up on the delicious maiden 2019.
The aromatics show complex multi-dimensional layers of sea spray, white flowers, orange citrus oil, freshly baked buttered croissants and pithy lemon rind notes. Very pure and precise, the palate reveals an incredibly elegant, creamy, leesy texture with no shortage of tension and minerality, all supported by an intense but seamless concentration of green and yellow fruits, pineapple pastille and lemon bonbons nuances. The length is truly striking, lingering then very slowly fading gradually on the long finish as if someone was slowing turning down the taste volume. The acids are fresh as you’d expect from Ridge fruit but also fabulously tangy and bright. Like a great work of art, this 2020 requires a measure of reflection and contemplation to fully appreciate its beautiful construction, pristine balance and superb harmony. Give the wine plenty of air, decanting if necessary, and don’t serve too cold. A wonderfully complete wine that should drink well from release and over 6 to 8+ years. Wine Safari Score: 95/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Onskuld, meaning innocence in Afrikaans, invites you to savour the simple joy that Chardonnay brings. The 2020 Onskuld Chardonnay is well-structured. with an outstanding balance of citrus fruit and minerality that reminds of an old-world Chardonnay.
The wine shows freshness and elegance while reflecting the unique terroir of the Hemel & Aarde Ridge.
The Hemel & Aarde Ridge is the smallest appellation in the Walker Bay wine region. Our grapes are grown in a 10-year-old northeast-facing trellised vineyard, located at 300m above sea level and planted in clay-rich Bokkeveld shale. Ripening here generally occurs later due in part to the lofty elevations of the Ridge.
We follow a philosophy of minimum intervention, allowing the terroir to speak for itself. Harvested on the 20th of February 2020 by hand in lug boxes and transferred directly to the press for gentle whole-bunch pressing. Only the free-run juice was used and transferred to 30% new French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine matured on fine lees for 11 months.
TA 6.2 g/l
RS 2.4 g/l