STELLENBOSCH winery Eikendal has released its limited release Mon Désir Chardonnay 2018 – a classic rendition of the exceptional elegance this varietal can attain. This highly desirable wine is produced only in exceptional years, with the 2018 vintage crafted from grapes from the cool-climate Elgin Valley.
“This is a great vintage,” declares Eikendal winemaker Maryke Botha of the wine that’s only the second to be bottled under the Mon Désir label.
The first release featured the 2017 harvest. Having tasted the striking difference in quality of that year, the winery launched Mon Désir Chardonnay. The wines it would henceforth include would only be made from outstanding vintages, with extended maturation, and to display terroir excellence.
“The 2017 was an incredible start…2018 just takes it that step further,” says Maryke of the latest Eikendal Mon Désir Chardonnay 2018. “The purity and tight framework on this wine is exceptional and with that hint of flint you can almost see yourself in Burgundy”.
Aromas and flavours to be expected in the wine, finely balanced by judicious oaking, include fresh citrus and orange blossoms. The trait is typical of the vineyard’s particular clone or cutting, which is traditional to the making of sparkling wine.
The excellence of the Eikendal Mon Désir Chardonnay 2018 stands on three pillars. The first, its fruit that hails from a vineyard growing in shale soils of a valley floor. So exceptional was the quality of the vintage that Eikendal decided its provenance deserved to be highlighted as Wine of Origin: Elgin.
The cooler climate of Elgin is well suited to the growing of Chardonnay. Mild days and cooler nights allow the grapes not only to ripen slowly to full maturity, but its organoleptic properties – flavour and aroma – to develop optimal complexity.
The higher natural acid that is achieved this way also allows the wine to age for longer, which leads to the second and third pillars of the 2018 – the making of the wine itself and its maturation.
Once vinified, the wine was matured for 14 months in French oak barrels, acquiring a more rounded flavour profile and mouthfeel. This was followed by more ageing, this time in bottle, for just shy of two years.
“The time of release is heralded by the wine; when it is ready to be enjoyed,” says Maryke. “Only a small amount is made, so we want to make sure the timing is just right. The fundamentals of the wine are such that from this point, it will continue to improve in bottle for another ten years at least,” she adds.
A significant part of producing a wine such as the Eikendal Mon Désir Chardonnay lies in the ability to recognise its potential. For Eikendal, which specialises in showcasing the variety, the task fits perfectly with its aims as a pre-eminent House of Chardonnay.
The Eikendal Mon Desir Chardonnay 2018 is available now, at around R320 per bottle. Click here for more information.