#WOTW: South Africa’s First Lady of Chardonnay
Few countries offer the ratio of price to quality that South Africa can deliver, so it’s well worth getting to know some wines from the surprisingly wide range of varieties that the country has mastered.
Although Chenin Blanc is the white grape that you’re mostly likely to encounter, there is juicy, bright Sauvignon and elegant, sumptuous Chardonnay too, with our ‘wine of the week’ a case in point. Warwick Estate ‘The First Lady’ 2018 Chardonnay comes from Stellenbosch and is named in honour of Norma Ratcliffe, the first woman to make wine in South Africa.
A medley of citrus and tropical fruit flavours, with a hint of toasted almonds, lead into a well balanced wine, with just the right amount of richness and texture from bright sunny fruit and well integrated oak. It’s a classic partner for that queen of comfort food, a roast chicken supper, but it would also work well with poached salmon or cauliflower/broccoli cheese.
It’s listed at £12.95 at Fortnum and Mason, or you can get it online at Ministry of Drinks for £10, but I have also noticed that a wine from the same producer, with almost exactly the same name, Warwick Estate ‘Cape Lady’ Chardonnay (sometimes virtually identical wines have subtly different names for their respective retail channels), is available at Morrisons for £8.75 and is currently on a 3 for £20 promotion until October 15th, which is amazing value for a wine of this quality.