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Baleia Inge

Chardonnay 2014

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Alwyn van der Merwe

Director of Investments

Top-rated wines are often produced in areas not traditionally associated with classic wines and winemaking – the Baleia Inge Chardonnay 2014 being a case in point.

The grapes for the Baleia Inge Chardonnay 2014 come from the farm Dassieklip, originally a grain and sheep farm, in the Riversdal district in the Southern Cape. The Joubert family, which has been farming in the area since the 1900s, started out as pioneers in the cultivation of vineyards in the district, and Dassieklip remains the only wine-producing farm in that region.

Factors that contributed to the farm’s shift in focus to winemaking and the cultivation of olives include its close proximity to the ocean, the limestone-rich soil and the region’s ideal climate. Jan-Hendrik Joubert and his father, Fanie, planted the first blocks of pinot noir, shiraz and tempranillo in 2009, followed by chardonnay and sauvignon blanc in 2010. In 2011, they decided to focus specifically on pinot noir and chardonnay, calling their venture Baleia Wines.

The Baleia Inge Chardonnay 2014 still looks youthful in the glass. The nose is attractive with a combination of butterscotch and toffee, and a hint of citrus on the nose that adds to the complexity. The palate is a repeat of the primary flavours on the nose. There is still enough acidity present that fills out the mid-palate.

The few years in the bottle undoubtedly add to the roundness of the wine. The oak is well integrated and if anything adds toastiness, which enhances the lingering aftertaste.


On a different note, at a time when South Africa continues to make the news headlines for the wrong reasons, it would be fitting to celebrate the recognition that Kanonkop received in Tim Atkin’s recently released 2018 South Africa Special Report. Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015 became the first South African wine to receive 100pts in this annual report on the South African wine industry.

Atkin tasted 1 986 wines from around the country, with Kanonkop’s iconic Bordeaux-style blend achieving the highest score. The recognition is testimony to the estate’s consistent philosophy and the discipline and diligence applied in its processes.

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