Parker: “Well Made and Quite Delicious”
This gorgeous 2014 Chardonnay from Bartinney Estate drew this rave from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “I could have quaffed away until the cows come home.” Over the last decade, the Jordaan family has spared no expense turning the breathtaking Bartinney estate into a consistent small-production overachiever. Bartinney’s 2014 Chardonnay offers everything you’d expect — and then some — for a Parker 91-point Chardonnay: “The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity that is nicely balanced with a brush of wild honey and brioche towards the finish.” At $19.99 — the best price in the U.S. — this is the kind of Chardonnay with a price-to-score ratio that we like to stack by the case for just about every occasion.
The man who founded the Bartinney estate more than a century ago wanted to live out his days in what he called “the most beautiful valley on earth.” Those lucky enough to visit the Bartinney Guest Houses or Tasting Shed and take in the jaw-dropping views of Stellenbosch Mountain will see that that is no exaggeration.
The Jordaan family purchased the estate in 1953, but its winemaking history really began when Rose and Michael Jordaan took control of the property in 2008: They have installed modern winemaking equipment, hired accomplished winemaker Ronell Wiid, and performed wonders with the heart-stoppingly beautiful 69-acre property.
It turns out that what is easy on the eyes is also excellent for their grapes. The high altitude of the estate allows the Chardonnay vines to cool sufficiently at night, adding a lively acidity to grapes that achieve perfect ripeness in their ideal north- and northeasterly-exposed vineyards.
The resulting wine is creamy and crisp, with a distinct toasted note from maturation in one-third new French oak. This is simply delicious Chardonnay from one of South Africa’s rapidly rising producers. It is perfect for any seafood dish — or, as one would do visiting the impossibly picturesque Bartinney estate, paired with a sunset and an unbeatable view.