De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2019 is one of just six chardonnays from across the globe, and the only one from South Africa, to achieve Master status in the Global Chardonnay Masters awards.
Grown in one of South Africa’s highest wine regions, Op Die Berg (“on the mountain”) achieved the lofty status reserved for only the most exceptional examples of a particular grape variety in the awards announced at the end of 2019 by The Drinks Business, the world’s leading magazine for the wine and spirits trade.
The magazine’s Global Masters tastings are judged blind by some of the finest palates in the world – the panels limited to Masters of Wine (MW), Master Sommeliers and senior buyers – and assess the overall quality and character of a varietal or style across old and new world wine-making regions, and across all price brackets.
Co-chair of the judges, Patrick Schmitt MW, said: “Among the areas that stood out, it should be stressed that once more, South Africa proved itself a great place for first-rate Chardonnay at an accessible price. Particularly the wines from De Grendel, who have crafted a lovely and affordable Chardonnay.”
Six Master titles were awarded from the 200 entries in the 2019 Global Chardonnay Masters, with De Grendel in the company of wines from Australia, New Zealand and France at this highest level.
Op Die Berg is grown on the Ceres Plateau in the Witzenberg mountains, at 960m above sea level and the only truly continental wine-growing region in South Africa – where, without the moderating coastal influence of other wine regions, the winter temperatures frequently drop below freezing and lend cool freshness, purity and intensity to the fruit.
Although perfect to enjoy now, Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2019 – with its expressive apple and citrus aromas permeated with soft crème caramel and sweet orange marmalade, lively flavours and rich and refined finish – will age into its full potential over the next four to five years, says De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins.
The freshness of the wine is exceptionally well-suited to creamy pastas, grapefruit salads and mild, aromatic curries.
Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2019, which also achieved 90 points last year in the Winemag.co.za Chardonnay Report, is available from the De Grendel cellar door or online shop at R200