Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Quality Shines for La Vierge

La Vierge’s wines of desire proved their high desirability with one of the highest scores for Chardonnay in the Investec Trophy Wine Show for La Vierge Jezebelle 2021 and a top score for The Affair Pinot Noir 2021. La Vierge Jezebelle Chardonnay 2021 scored an outstanding 97 points, just one point behind the overall Chardonnay trophy-winner. It was one of only 29 gold medallists from more than 670 entries and the only Chardonnay from the Hemel-en-Aarde appellation to have scored a gold medal.

The panel of local and international judges awarded an impressive 92 points to The Affair Pinot Noir, also the only Pinot Noir from the Hemel-en-Aarde appellation to have scored more than 90 points in this prestigious annual wine show. The results of the Trophy Wine Show, with new headline partner Investec, were announced in Cape Town on Wednesday, 6 July.

“We are especially excited about this recognition for our two flagship wines because the Trophy Wine Show is known not only for the high calibre of the local and international judges, but also its rigorous judging procedure which means the judges are very frugal in awarding medals. A Trophy Wine Show gold medal is hard-won and something our whole team can be really proud of,” said La Vierge winemaker Christo Kotze.

The Hemel-en-Aarde valley, where La Vierge’s commanding position overlooks the valley down to Hermanus and Walker Bay below, is South Africa’s premier growing region for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean results in a temperate maritime climate cooled by the sea breezes and ocean mist channelled through the valley – ideal growing conditions for these varietals.  

“The Trophy Wine Show ratings reflect the quality achieved in our distinctive expression of this unique maritime-influenced terroir,” Kotze said.

Jezebelle Chardonnay is blended from six different vineyards on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge and matured on the lees in Burgundian oak for 8 months before blending and bottling. The wine is zippy and textured on the palate, with aromatic lime, white floral and stone fruit on the nose, and maritime-mineral character. 

Jezebelle has built up a strong track record of recognition from respected critics, publications and competitions over the past few vintages, including:

  • Platter’s 4.5* rating for both the 2019 and 2020 vintages
  • Top 10 in the Winemag Chardonnay Reports for both the 2019 and 2020 vintages
  • 2020 vintage: Michelangelo Double Gold, Tim Atkin MW 90 points
  • 2019 vintage: Decanter 91 points

The Affair showcases the love affair between Pinot Noir’s soft, feminine side in silky texture and floral notes, and the masculine, linear strength of refined tannins and dark, brooding forest floor aromas. The wine is matured in French oak for 9 months and allowed to develop further in bottle before release. This is such a beautiful wine. I paired it with a cauliflower noodles and ostrich meat balls stirfry.

The Affair’s track record of accolades over multiple vintages includes:

  • 4* Platter’s rating for both 2019 and 2020 vintages
  • 2019 vintage: Veritas Gold, Vitis Vinifera Gold, Gold & Value Awards in The Merit Awards

The wines are available direct from the La Vierge cellar or online shop, at R170 for the Jezebelle Chardonnay 2021 and R180 for The Affair Pinot Noir 2021.

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