Wine is a bit like people – great suffering tends to lead to great character. As a rough-and-ready Wine 101 rule, the drier the land and the more rubbish the soil, the better the wine. Roots dig deep and yields are reduced. The result? Quality grapes that make for intense, complex wines. This is not always the case of course, I have tasted some right royal poor-condition plonkers. But as a rule of thumb, bad conditions make for good wines.
This is certainly the case with Perdeberg’s newly released Rooted Chardonnay. Dry conditions and light decomposed granite and glenrosa soils encourage the roots of these 18-year-old vines to penetrate up to 2 metres. At only 9 tonnes per hectare, yields are low. Grapes are hand selected and the wine is fermented in 500L French oak barrels after which it spends a further 8 months on the lees to increase in complexity.
On the nose there is the expected Chardonnay citrus and apple, but also a slight tropical note. Take a sip and you’ll find a fresh wine with crisp acidity nicely balancing the fruit.