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The wines of De Wetshof Estate

PO Box 31, Robertson, South Africa Tel: +27(0) 2345 1853

Danie De Wet is a Chardonnay specialist, producing four different Chardonnays of different styles, culminating in the sensational Bateleur. As he is one of the most well known figures in South African wine, I asked him what he thought of the concept of 'terroir'. His response was that in his opinion there were three categories or quality levels of wine: wine as a commodity, wine made in a particular style, and then finally wine that is an expression of a site. Illustrating this concept with his own range, he described the Bon Vallon Chardonnay as a commodity wine, the D'Honneur as a wine made in a particular style, and the Bateleur as a wine that is an expression of site, reflecting the vineyard that produced it. I guess this makes good sense. All these wines were enjoyable, and all are fairly priced.

Edeloes 1998 Noble late harvest
Amber coloured. Huge nose of apricot and botrytis. Sweet, luscious, complex and viscous, with good acid balance. Very moreish.

Bon Vallon Chardonnay 1999
Unwooded. Fresh and light with a touch of 'boiled sweets' aroma and high acidity. A functional wine.

Lesca Chardonnay 1998
Barrel fermented in French oak barrels. Big nose of new oak. Savoury. Lively fruit with good acidity and spicy complexity. Good but oaky.

D'Honneur Chardonnay 1998
Sophisticated oak handling. More nutty than the other wines, with good fruit. Restrained, complex and mineralic. Pretty good.

Bateleur Chardonnay 1998
18 000 cases made. Beautifully expressive wine. Lighter and with more citrus flavours; young and tight at the moment. High acidity and well integrated oak. Savoury and lean. Very good.

Blanc Fumé 1999
Oak matured Sauvignon blanc. Light wine with a fresh nose and a touch of oak. OK.

(Tasted November 1999)