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2022 CHARDONNAY, Southend Vineyard, Newton Johnson. S.Africa

Bin:  208

Alcohol percentage:  13.5%



Hemel-en-Aarde is the name of the valley above Hermanus. The larger region is called Walker Bay and Hamilton Russell were the people who made it famous – as a cool climate source of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, back when South Africa was only learning how to make wines of freshness and balance.

Grape variety:

Chardonnay, fermented (with natural yeasts) and matured half in steel and half in barrel, with only a very small proportion of new wood each year (7%).


Founded by Dave Johnson and Felicity Newton (now Johnson) in 1995 and now run by sons, Bevan and Gordon. They have just under 20 hectares of land at 150-300m.

And to quote from their website:

“Southend is a single vineyard wine that lies in the shadow of the Babylonstoring Mountains in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and is owned and farmed by our neighbours, the Pringle family. It is a notably cooler slope, a stone’s throw across the river from us, with less sunshine and consequently slower ripening. It produces wines with sparkling clarity, high-toned fruit flavours, compact structure, and vibrant acidity. We preserve these features by fermenting in larger format casks that often ferment slowly in to the winter. This parcel takes a steely and light-footed point of difference from the other Chardonnay vineyards of our appellation.”

Old Bridge rating:

In modern style (not too oaky or heavy) but in no way lean or hard; this is proper Chardonnay, made with sensitivity.


£20.90 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£19.80 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles