Senior white winemaker Jacques Erasmus decided there was only one option: to make a Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend by mixing the two grape varietals together, crushing them and putting them in the same tank.
When Erasmus tasted the wine for the first time, he knew that he was onto a winner. “When the grapes are crushed separately and blended together later on, the Chardonnay normally dominates. But because we mixed the grapes together right at the beginning, we’ve created a well-balanced wine where the red fruit flavours of Pinot Noir can hold their own.”
And so a happy accident has produced this friendly, easygoing wine with crispness balanced by gentle fruit and a slight celebratory fizz (due to higher carbon dioxide levels). This is a wine greater than the sum of its parts: the two varietals work in sync. The Pinot Noir grapes bring red fruit, strawberries, sweetness, candyfloss flavours to the wine. Chardonnay’s big berries provide a clean and fresh feel, a dash of minerality, and a hint of citrus. Its low pH also gives the wine longevity so the wine can be enjoyed in 1 to 2 years' time – although once you’ve tasted it, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to hold out for that long.
Like the most convivial conversation partner, the Spier Signature Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2014 is undemanding but with enough complexity to keep things interesting. Drink on its own on a sunny afternoon or pair with seafood salad, avocado, smoked salmon or egg canapés.
Now available from the Spier online wine shop for R47.