£15.49–£18, Roberts & Speight, drinkfinder.co.uk, TheDrinkShop.com, winedirect.co.uk, Noble Green Wines
The South African wine industry needs and deserves our support, but I don't need an excuse to recommend Vergelegen estate's Chardonnay. It's got everything going for it, with appeal for both Chardonnay camps: followers of contemporary, lean and elegant styles and fans of fuller, riper wines who want to taste a bit of oak.
Fermented in French barrels (35% new) and aged on its lees (regularly stirred) for 10 months, it's full-bodied with a lanolin-smooth texture cut by tight-wire lemon-zest acidity and with the oak providing a discreet backdrop for melon, lemon, beeswax and acacia honey flavours.
Although quite powerful, the laser-bright acidity means you can drink it on its own, or pair it with seafood – prawns on the barbecue or plancha, creamy fish pie, crab gratin – or chicken (anything from roast to salads) or cheesy/creamy/lemony pasta dishes. 14.5%
Vergelegen Chardonnay Reserve 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa
£15.49, Roberts & Speight; £16.68, drinkfinder.co.uk; £16.69, TheDrinkShop.com; £17.95, winedirect.co.uk; £18 (mix 6), Noble Green Wines
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