Experts’ choice: South Africa’s top Chardonnay in 2012

THE STAND-OUT Chardonnays from South Africa, the best reviews of the year – from particularly good value wines courtesy of Durbanville Hills and Douglas Green Bellingham to beauties from De Wetshof, Hamilton Russell, Jordan, Mulderbosch, Paul Cluver, Sumaridge, Tokara, Uva Mira and others that have wowed the critics again and again:

Almenkerk 2011 – gold medal at Decanter Awards, 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Alvi’s Drift AD 2011 – Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Ataraxia 2011 – highly recommended in Platter’s Guide

Boschendal Reserve Collection 2011 – 5 Stars in Platter’s Guide, double gold medal at Michelangelo Awards

Bouchard Finlayson Limited Edition Kaaimansgat 2010 – gold medal at Decanter Awards

Chamonix Reserve 2011 – 5 Stars in Platter’s Guide

De Wetshof Bateleur 2009 – gold medal at Chardonnay du Monde, 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

De Wetshof The Site 2011 – highly recommended in Platter’s Guide

Douglas Green 2011 – double gold medal at Michelangelo Awards

Durbanville Hills 2011 – double gold medal at Veritas Awards

Durbanville Hills Rhinofields 2010 – gold medal at Chardonnay du Monde

Eikendal 2011 – gold medal at Trophy Wine Show

Fleur du Cap Unfiltered 2011 – gold medal at Trophy Wine Show, double gold medal at Veritas Awards

Four Paws 2010 – double gold medal at Michelangelo Awards

Glen Carlou 2010 – gold medal at Classic Awards

GlenWood Vigneron’s Selection 2010 – Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Groot Constantia 2011 – double gold medal at Michelangelo Awards

Hamilton Russell 2010 – trophy at International Wine Challenge, trophy at Classic Awards

Hamilton Russell 2011 – 5 Stars in Platter’s Guide, Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection, 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Hartenberg 2010 – 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Hartenberg The Eleanor 2009 – gold medal at International Wine & Spirit Competition

Jordan Barrel Fermented 2010 – gold medal at International Wine & Spirit Competition, double gold medal at Veritas Awards, Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Jordan Barrel Fermented 2011 – 5 Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Jordan CWG Auction Reserve 2011 – 5 Stars in Platter’s Guide

Jordan Nine Yards 2010 – trophy at Decanter Awards, trophy at International Wine & Spirit Competition, Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Jordan Nine Yards 2011 – 5 Stars in Platter’s Guide, double gold medal at Veritas Awards

Julien Schaal 2011 – gold medal at Classic Awards

Koelfontein 2010 – 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

KWV The Mentors 2011 – trophy at Trophy Wine Show, 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Longridge 2009 – Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Lourensford Winemaker’s Selection 2011 – gold medal at International Wine Challenge

Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented 2008 – Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented 2010 – highly recommended in Platter’s Guide

Naledi 2010 – gold medal at International Wine & Spirit Competition

Paul Cluver 2010 – gold medal at Decanter Awards, Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection

Paul Cluver 2011 – double gold medal at Five Nations Challenge

Radford Dale 2011 – highly recommended in Platter’s Guide, 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes report

Rietvallei Special Select 2011 – gold medal at Chardonnay du Monde

Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2010 – gold medal at Trophy Wine Show, highly recommended in Platter’s Guide

Sterhuis Barrel Selection 2010 – 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Sumaridge 2010 – gold medal at Trophy Wine Show, Top 100 SA Wine Challenge selection, 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Tokara Stellenbosch 2010 – gold medal at Classic Awards

Tokara Walker Bay 2011 – 4½ Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Uva Mira Single Vineyard 2010 – double gold medal at Five Nations Challenge

Uva Mira Single Vineyard 2011 – 5 Stars in Christian Eedes Report

Vins d’Orrance Cuvée Anaïs 2011 – highly recommended in Platter’s Guide

For the prices of these wines and more Chardonnay recommendations, click here. For information about the various judging panels, click here.