De Wetshof’s Bateleur Chardonnay 2020, an iconic South Africa’s white wine, has been adjudged one of the top 10 wines in this year’s Chardonnay du Monde, the world’s leading competition for wines made from the noble white grape of Burgundy.
Some 546 wines from 32 countries were judged by a panel of international experts at Château des Ravatys, the wine estate of the Pasteur Institute at Saint Lager in the Burgundy wine region of France, with only 56 Gold medals awarded. De Wetshof’s Bateleur was the only South African wine to make the Top 10 list. This was the 29th time the Chardonnay du Monde was held.
According to De Wetshof CEO Johann de Wet the Chardonnay du Monde remains one of the most important competitions for Chardonnay, the variety for which De Wetshof is best known and which it pioneered in South Africa during the 1980s.4
“It is a tremendous honour. Not only to win a Gold medal, but also to have a wine recognised as one of the best 10 judged on this international show,” he says. “But perhaps the most telling aspect of this result is that it went to De Wetshof’s Bateleur Chardonnay, our icon wine made from a vineyard planted in 1987 from plant material Danie de Wet, my father, sourced in 1981 from the famous Clos des Mouches vineyard in Burgundy.”
The plant material was then propagated and planted 35 years ago on broken mountain rock soils rich in Limestone and cooled by southerly maritime breezes. “The quality of the fruit warrants aging the Bateleur for 12 months in new French oak barrels as the structure of the wine is complemented by the wood, not dominated by it,” says De Wet.
“The wine is fresh and accessible, with complexity in structure and a persistent mouthfeel to ensure the kind of classic presence on the palate great Chardonnay is known for,” he says.
“The 2020 vintage obviously impressed the judges, but a Chardonnay of the stature of the Bateleur will age for 15 to 20 years.” De Wet says this award vindicates De Wetshof’s belief in the excellence of South African Chardonnay.
“We are honoured to receive this accolade from the world’s leading Chardonnay competition and hope this shows the world that South Africa is capable of producing white wines, and especially Chardonnay, that can compete with the best in the world.”
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