Form and fashion come and go, but class, as they say, is permanent. The reason lies not simply in the way that the wines actually taste, but in the attitude and philosophy of the man behind them, that ever modest genius and former Springbok rugby legend, Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee, the owner of this homely estate in the Paradyskloof Valley just outside the graceful town of Stellenbosch itself. Situated at the foothills of the Stellenbosch Mountain, Vriesenhof is where the ever-changing climatic effect of the Atlantic Ocean is evident throughout the year.
The wines remain natural expressions of grape and place rather than over-manipulated artefacts designed for the catwalk rather than the kitchen. The Coetzee family acquired their first land in Stellenbosch in 1682 and Jan bought Vriesenhof in 1980. At Vriesenhof we are seeing something truly original and exciting, even if the farm and its modest governor continue to keep themselves out of the media limelight and below the general radar.
This bright unwooded Chardonnay is made in a style that highlights the playfulness of Chardonnay. The wine is light and refreshing and bursting with fruit. It is fresh and green with lots of citrus fruit and gooseberries leading to pear and peach. Lipsmacking acidity finishes the wine nicely.