“I… I was standing. You were there. New and Old Worlds collided… and they made an awesome chardy.”
Ok INXS were right to reject these lyrics for their seminal hit. But we reckon the sentiment here was valid. Julien and Sophie Schaal are modern day winemaking magicians. Shortly after completing vintage in their native France, they prepare to pack up and jet off to South Africa where they do it all over again to make their delicious vinos in the southern hemisphere.
Head buyer, John, says, “Look for a more savoury style, as Julien is sandwiched between the old and new worlds.” Right he is, too. There’s all the New World’s richness of fruit, balanced by Old World texture and poise. To give you a reference point, this could easily be a Yarra chardy from a classy vintage. Cashew and macadamia nuts meet subtle but intense fruit. It’s not too shouty, instead calmly emanating a delightful complexity. Peach granita, lemon butter, melon and Golden Delicious. The palate is silken, mouthfilling and gently textured. The finish, long and scrumptious. The wine was matured for 10 months, 60% in barrels, of which 15% were new and 40% in tank, giving additional tantalising texture and depth. It’s plenty approachable now, bright and charming as it is, though Wine Dealer, Liv, chimes in, “I really want to see it in two years, that will be f@!*$#g delicious.”
So there’s your plan of attack, mofo. Grab a box of this unbeatable-value beast to see you through 2019, and keep hold of another for posterity.
This wine is part of our Women in Wine collection. We are committed to ALWAYS having wines available that are made by women. We already support so many women in the industry but we want to make this much more transparent and visible for our mofos. We want to make a real and lasting impact in an industry that is sadly still dominated by men. And this is the first step. Here’s to our Women in Wine!
Winemakers: Sophie & Julien Schaal. Sophie’s a Burgundian native as well as a Dijon University graduate, and makes these wines with husband Julien.
“If you’re looking for a bargain (and who isn’t?), then look no further than the Julien Schaal Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay 2017. Two-thirds of grapes from Upper Hemel-en-Aarde and one-third from Elgin, the wine was matured for 10 months, 60% in barrels of which 15% were new and 40% in tank. The nose shows white peach, citrus and some yeasty complexity while the palate is well balanced with lovely pure fruit and tangy acidity. If it was a pop song, it would be the feel-good-hit-of-the-summer.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- South Africa
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
The grapes come 2 vineyards. One from ELGIN – A Cape's coolest viticultural area and has a unique climate and topography, consisting of an upland basin plateau, surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. This region shows climatic similarities to Walker bay, only slightly warmer by comparison. The Terroir is very stony and mixed with red clay. Second from Upper Hemel-en-Aarde. The soil is predominantly Malmesbury Shale (a duplex structure). The top layer consists of a mixture of clay (15-30%) and gravel (ironstone and granite particles) and the lower layer is clay shale, which secures a source of moisture. The valley is surrounded and sheltered by a mountain barrier, formed by Galpin Peak (810 meters) and the Tower of Babel (1200 meters), which traps the cloud cover and moisture brought in from the sea by the prevailing wind.
The winemaking process detaches itself from industry, and honouring tradition. The grapes are picked by hand at the coolest time of the day. After a gentle pressing, and a stating setting, the juice goes to 300 litres barrels and tank, start the fermentation with wild yeast. The 300L barrell size helps the wine to develop complexity and terroir aromas. The idea is to keep as much as possible the minerality of the wine and the freshness. We don't want to have any malo lactic fermentation as we believe it would change the aromas profile of the wine.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Salt & pepper squid
- 3 (about 600g) large cleaned squid hoods
- 1L (4 cups) vegetable oil
- 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- Lemon wedges and soy sauce with
- sliced fresh red chilli, to serve
- Use a sharp knife to cut through 1 side of each squid hood lengthways. Open out flat with inside surface facing up and score surface diagonally. Cut into 3.5cm squares and pat dry with paper towel.
- Heat the oil in a large wok over medium heat until it reaches 190°C on a confectionary/oil thermometer. (Or, add a 5cm cube of bread to the oil - it should turn light golden in 10 seconds.)
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice and chilli in a medium bowl. Add the squid and toss gently to coat.
- Remove half of the squid from the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Add to the oil and cook, turning with a slotted metal spoon, for 2 minutes or until the squid just turns golden and curls. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the squid to a large plate lined with paper towel to drain. Reheat the oil in the wok to 190°C. Repeat with the remaining squid.
- Serve immediately with the lemon wedges and chilli soy sauce.