I recently sat down and set all my wine snobbery aside for a night to enjoy one of these last summer nights with a crisp white wine. All the usual suspects were lined up and ready for judgment when a friend threw me a curve and directed my efforts towards South Africa. The wine of my friends choosing was Cape Maidens Chardonnay by Juno . I was tired of chardonnays and needed some persuasion. The last thing I wanted was another example of a wine maker doing everything they can to hide the true characteristics of a varietal. So many chardonnays are overdone but I'm glad my friends talked me into trying this wine.
Juno's Cape Maidens Chardonnay was full bodied, well rounded with beautiful mineral characteristics that integrated well with hints of lime and honey in addition to the traditional chardonnay aromas of apples and tropical fruits. The finish was long and the acidity was just right. Each sip left you eager for another.
This wine is just what I was looking for. Crisp and clean, nimble on its feet. Juno Cape Maidens Chardonnay manages to avoid the pitfalls of another chardonnays by being just another bland cookie-cutter wine marketed towards anyone just looking for the word chardonnay on the label and the restraint shown by the subtle use of oak allows the varietal personality to show through.
It may have been the company or the food but this wine was one of my best this summer and it can be found at a reasonable price.
My heartfelt thanks to Paul and Pam for redirecting me towards Chardonnays just as I was ready to write them off for a time. This is what wine is about. Sharing with friends and family.