The Chardonnay and Cabernet Crusaders

Peter Morrell meeting two ‘New World’ wine makers who are snapping at the heels of the Old World

Hugh Crichton (l) and Alastair Rimmer

I recently met two dynamic wine makers from the New World, Hugh Crichton from Vidal Estate in New Zealand and Alastair Rimmer of Kleine Zalze in South Africa

Although the term New World conjures up thoughts of vines planted in the last 25 years or so these estates have got a long and successful pedigree. Vidal was founded in 1905 and grapes have been grown at the Kleine Zalze site since 1695. The centuries worth of experience now manifests itself in the world class quality of the wine that they both produce.

Hugh Crichton was the first presenter who is passionate about the Chardonnays that he creates. We tasted three of the wines that are produced on the Vidal Estate:

Estate Chardonnay 2016
This was a delicious, complex wine with distinct herbal notes in the bouquet. There was strong fruit flavours on the palate with just hints of wood. The finish was firm and long

Available from Dalling and Co Wines, Noble Green Wines, Islington Wine, Nailsworth Wine & Spirits and with an RRP of £12.80

Reserve Chardonnay 2017
Definite floral aromas in the bouquet that lead to apple and peach flavours in the mouth with laces of vanilla. A good, bright finish.

Available from DeFine Food and Wine, Ellies Cellar, Bin 21, Bacchanalia, Cornners, Field and Fawcett Hoults Wine Merchants and with an RRP of £16.20

Legacy Chardonnay 2015
This elegant wine is one of Vidal’ big guns. A powerful fruit on the nose with the slight hint of a riesling aroma. A lovely wood and smoke palate with well balanced acidity and good minerality. A strong and persistent finish.

Available from BI Wines & Spirits, Elicite Vinvivo, and the New Zealand Cellar with an RRP of £42.95

My overall impression of these wines was one of pure class and standing toe to toe with the old world equivalents. The main difference was the attractive prices points of the New Zealand chardonnays.

The second presentation from Alistair Rimmer showcased the cabernet sauvignons from the Kleine Zalze estate. As with Hugh, Alistair is committed to the production of world class vintages.

The cabernet sauvignons that Alistair presented were:

Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
This powerful wine had abundant spice and cedar notes in the bouquet. There are rich black cherry flavours on the palate with well balanced drying tannins. The finish is very long.

Available from Amps Fine Wine, Sissinghurst Wines, Dulwich Vintners, Bob’s Wines, D. Byrne & Co, Edencroft Fine Wines, Famous Wines UK, Islington Wines and North & South Wines with an RRP of £16.35

Family Reserve Cabernet Saivignon 2005
This was a fine wine with a delicate fruity nose. It had great complexity with smooth tannins and hints of smoke on the palate. The finish was fruity and satisfying.

This wine was drawn from library stock to illustrate how well Kleine Zalze winrs age so is not available for purchase.

Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Interesting blackcurrant and clove tones in the bouquet, in the mouth it was light and lively with dark summer fruit flavours and soft tannins. The finish was fruity and uplifting.

Arriving in the UK during October 2018 with an RRP of £34.85

Again world class wines made in the modern fashion that people are looking for. They were light and refreshing and offered a lot of sheer style.