If you’re faced with someone who thinks Christmas isn’t Christmas without Chablis, someone else who always chooses southern hemisphere wines over European classics and someone who never drinks Chardonnay because they still think it’s all big, fruity and oaky, try them on this svelte, unoaked Cape white made by the prestigious Rustenberg in Stellenbosch.
As long as they’re open-minded, they’ll find themselves enjoying the Chablis-like precision and polish combined with the creaminess and tang of crème fraiche and the salt-licked grapefruit and peach fruit.
It’s the fermentation using yeasts on the bloom of the grapes and then ageing the wine on its lees that builds the complexity and texture and makes oak superfluous.
Try it with smoked salmon, poached or baked salmon with hollandaise, citrus-spiced salmon fillets (Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe), shellfish and white fish dishes, kedgeree, risotto or creamy and lemony pasta and chicken. 13%. Empty bottle weight: 433g.
Rustenberg Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay 2022, Stellenbosch, South Africa