The Kaaimansgat or Crocodile’s Lair vineyard is hidden away in the Elands Kloof Valley behind the village of Villiersdorp, just 80km from Hermanus. A beautiful spot inside a blind valley nestled amongst majestic mountains. Bouchard Finlayson has been linked directly to this vineyard for close to twenty-four years. It is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than other Cape Chardonnays and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures. The vines are not irrigated and they produce small berries of high skin to juice ratio, which adds an extra flavour component to this superior wine.
Vintage 2014 commenced on the 12th of February, much later than normal, after a long and possibly the wettest summer on record with 610mm of rainfall recorded from October to March. This atypical vintage initiated a keen sense of urgency from both vineyard and cellar staff. Peter Finlayson experience and attention to detail ensured a successful harvest and an excellent vintage for white wine.
The 2014 vintage offered near perfect fruit with great malic acid levels, converted through secondary fermentation to softer and more complex lactic acid, which contributed to greater complexity. Additional time on the lees in small barrels (228l) with a maturation of 5 months in 12% new French Oak barrels contributes to its distinctive creamy texture.
The dry land nature of this vineyard also offers a distinctive mineral quality, which allows greater maturation potential. Beautifully fresh and crisp, with obvious gooseberry flavours surrounded by subtle oak nuances.
Enjoyed through all seasons with a wide range of dishes, particularly rich seafood, white meats and charcuterie.