Tim Atkin MW waxed lyrical about De Wetshof The Site Chardonnay 2014, in his South Africa Report 2016 (see below). Elegant and intense citrus and vanilla aromas which instantly recall this wine’s burgundian roots. The palate is silky and complex, with ripe peaches and apples coupled with a nutty and creamy texture. Its multi-layered flavours develop in the mouth; it has a touch of roundness whilst retaining its crisp acidity. A very accomplished chardonnay with an excellent, velvety mouthfeel, great structure and amazing length. We were so struck by this wine’s burgundian characteristics that we couldn’t resist listing it, as it represents good value for this quality of wine.
The Site is made from grapes grown on a small, single vineyard planted in 1986 on limestone gravel soils, where the mature vines produce low yields and great concentration. Its precise co-ordinates are featured on the label and it is the only South African Chardonay produced from a classic Burgundian clone. After a period on its lees, it is matured in French oak for a year.
De Wetshof is one of the few 3rd generation wine estates in South Africa. A family-run winery, Daniel de Wet is assisted by Johann (viticulture) and Peter (winemaking). They produce consistently high quality wines, especially chardonnays. The vineyards are located 160 kilometres North of Cape Town in the Robertson area. The chilly Southern Ocean breezes are funnelled up the Breede River Valley and give cooling respite to the vines.
White soils and a south-facing slope make this tautest and most backward of the De Wetshof Chardonnays, which is why it’s often released with a little more bottle age. Focused, spicy and very mineral, it’s a wine where you can almost taste the limestone on the tongue. Drink 2016 – 2022; 94 points; Tim Atkin MW Special Report South Africa 2016