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Rustenberg Chardonnay Five Soldiers 2012 750ml
SKU 786775

Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2012

Coastal Region - South Africa

Professional Wine Reviews for Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2012

Rated 93 by Robert Parker
The 2012 Five Soldiers Chardonnay comes from some of the oldest vines on the property, around 22 years old that tend to suffer a lot of coulure that lower yields, whole-bunch pressed with slightly more new wood (70%) for 15 months. The bouquet handles the wood well, with attractive dried honey and candle wax aromas complementing the citrus fruit. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity and frankly you would hardly notice the oak. Citrus fresh with delicate white peach and pink grapefruit notes, this is a lovely Chardonnay.
Rated 92 by Stephen Tanzer
Straw-yellow. Inviting aromas of peach, fresh apricot, vanilla and sexy oak spices. Densely packed and saline, offering soft tangerine and orange blossom flavors supported by underlying minerality (this wine is from decomposed granite soil). Boasts lovely mouthfilling breadth without any undue weight. Finishes slightly phenolic, salty and very long. This wine has been bottled under screwcap beginning with the 2009. Incidentally, the Five Soldiers are 150-year-old stone pine trees on the estate.

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Additional Information on Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2012

Winery Rustenberg

Vintage: 2012

2012 has, so far been a positive year for wineries around the world. While it may be a little too early to speak of the wines being made in the northern hemisphere, European and North American wineries have already begun reporting that their harvesting season has been generally very good, and are predicting to continue with the kind of successes they saw in 2011. However, 2012 has been something of a late year for France, due to unpredictable weather throughout the summer, and the grapes were ripening considerably later than they did in 2011 (which was, admittedly, an exceptionally early year). French wineries are claiming, though, that this could well turn out to be advantageous, as the slow ripening will allow the resulting wines to express more flavour and features of the terroir they are grown in. The southern hemisphere has seen ideal climatic conditions in most of the key wine producing countries, and Australia and New Zealand particularly had a superb year, in particular with the Bordeaux varietal grapes that grow there and which love the humidity these countries received plenty of. Also enjoying a fantastic year for weather were wineries across Argentina and Chile, with the Mendoza region claiming that 2012 will be one of their best vintages of the past decade. Similar claims are being made across the Chilean wine regions, where Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon had an especially good year. These two grape varietals also produced characterful wines on the coastal regions of South Africa this year.

Varietal: Chardonnay

In the past couple of decades, the sales of wines made with Chardonnay grapes has risen and fallen more than once. For many people, this green skinned grape was marred by a poor reputation for bland and uninteresting wines, a great shame considering the fact that Chardonnay grapes have proven time and time again to be interesting, versatile and full of surprises. Most commonly, fine Chardonnay wines are buttery, smooth and creamy as a result of malolactic fermentation, yet with hints of tropical fruits and orchard fruits such as apples and pears. What is most remarkable about Chardonnay grapes, however, is the fact that unlike many other 'white' grapes, they are exceptionally good at holding the characteristics of their terroir in the bottle. As such, despite their fluctuating reputation, this is one grape varietal which produces constantly surprising, impressive and varied wines.

Region: Coastal Region

The coastal parts of South Africa, and in particular the region around Cape Town, have been important wine regions for a surprising length of time. Indeed, viticulture first began at the tip of the African continent back in the mid 17th century, when European settlers first began experimenting with the cooler and windier terroirs near the ocean, and recognizing the potential the area had for growing grapes of real character and distinction. Those early experiments slowly but surely led to a powerful wine industry, and South African wines became famous throughout Europe for their quality and big, fruity, bold flavors Today, the coastal regions of South Africa produce a huge amount of wine, made in sparkling, still and fortified styles, and utilizing a wide range of grape varietals.

Country: South Africa

As geographically diverse country, with everything from lush green valleys to areas of arid desert, mountainsides and river estuaries, South Africa unsurprisingly produces a huge range of excellent wines. Regions such as the Breede River Valley consistently impress with their Semillon wines and the lush, fruity Ruby Cabernets grown and processed here, and the cooler region of Overberg is attracting much attention as a result of their silky Pinot Noir bottles. However, all over the oceanic tip of this fascinating country, traditional methods dating back over three hundred years are combining with modern technologies to produce some of the finest examples of New World wines to be found anywhere on the globe.