2019 Hartenberg The Eleanor Chardonnay

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2019 Hartenberg Eleanor

95 points Tim Atkin

‘Year after year, this is among South Africa's best Chardonnays, a single clone (CY95) white that combines structure, intensity, concentration and precision. Finely oaked in 40% new wood, it has notes of lemon butter and cashew, lots of texture and a taut, stony finish. 2022-26’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2021, 95/100

Only 16 barrels of The Eleanor Chardonnay 2019 were produced and the wine has just been released.

Tasting Notes 

Hartenberg`s self-styled `super premium` Chardonnay earns its title. this wine combines creamy and nutty fruit with refreshing acidity, a sleek minerality and sharp citrus fruit. It spends a whole year in all-new French oak and on the palate, you can tell – rich body, warm vanilla and an enduring round finish.

Nose

An expressive bouquet with lime zest and stone fruit at its core. Elegantly integrated oak shows notes of butterscotch opening up to a roasted nut aroma and a clean, chalky minerality. 

Palate

An initial bright acidity on the palate balances the rich and creamy texture of the wine with the peach and lime note following through to a lingering, toasty finish. Hartenberg The Eleanor Tasting Guide

Estate

On the slopes of Bottelary Hills bordering Stellenbosch, is a family estate where nature provides the perfect backdrop to grow, produce and share award-winning wines. Summer at Hartenberg brings picnics on the lawns followed by buoyant games of boule. Winter invites you to intimate fireside lunches and sumptuous reds, smoky charcuterie and olives, and sensorial cellar tours. Our Wetland Conservation Area, alongside the vineyards, makes for a beautiful setting for walks and shared family fun.

We are passionate about preserving our natural wealth as evidenced by our sustainable farming practices and conservation programs. We are proud members of Biodiversity and Wine (BWI) and Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), and the estate is home to plentiful wildlife and over 120 species of birds – inspiring us to combine the best of nature with fine wine. Our stated intention is for a pristine environment where nature thrives.

History

The first settlers to cultivate the virgin land of the estate now known as Hartenberg were friends Cunraad Boin and Christoffel Esterhuizzen who were granted permission to work 60 morgen (20 ha) of the land in 1692. In 1704, Christoffel Esterhuizzen was granted the title deed to "Het Hartenberg" by Governer (Willem Adriaan van der Stel) and by 1718, he had 10 000 vines on his property.

The well-known elephant hunter, Paulus Keyser, bought Hartenberg in 1721 and continued the practice of vineyard cultivation and winemaking on the farm until he sold it to Jacob van Bochen in 1725.  Van Bochen, a former accountant of the Dutch East India Company butchery and holder of the liquor retail monopoly, also bought Weltevrede adjoining Hartenberg.

For about one hundred years after van Bochen, the farm passed through the hands of various owners.  Some with colourful names like Arrie Lekkerwyn (delicious wine), and Aaron van Ceylon (a freed slave) and in 1838 it became the property of the brothers Jacobus and Johannes Bosman.

An important period in the farm's development was ushered in by the Hampf family when they bought Hartenberg in 1928. Mrs Hampf extended the vineyards and planted the many beautiful trees still to be seen around the farm and cellar, while her husband became the first officially recorded winemaker on the estate.

In 1948, Hartenberg was bought by the late Dr Maurice Finlayson (a well-known Cape Town pathologist) and his wife, Eleanor. Discovering the true potential of the estate, they soon began marketing their wines under the label "Montagne". Besides good wine, the Finlaysons also produced two sons, Peter and Walter, who were to become renowned South African winemakers. Uncompromising and sophisticated, Eleanor Finlayson's presence is still felt on Hartenberg today.

Gilbeys were the next owners of the estate, purchasing it from the Finlaysons in 1977. They eventually released the present Hartenberg range as their flagship brand in 1985. On 1 January 1987, Ken Mackenzie, purchased Hartenberg, having seen the potential that the perennial under-achiever offered.

His daughters continue a program of investment in the farm, focusing on three key areas: the replanting to specific sites of premium varietals, the development of production facilities, and upliftment, through knowledge and skills for employees.

The Mackenzie vision, though extremely ambitious, remains simple: to do whatever it takes to produce wines of outstanding quality.

Accolades

  • Tim Atkin rated The Eleanor 2019 an outstanding 95 points and offers the following tasting note:

    “Year after year, this is among South Africa’s best Chardonnays, a single clone (CY95) white that combines structure, intensity, concentration and precision. Finely oaked in 40% new wood, it has notes of lemon butter and cashew, lots of texture and a taut, stony finish.”

Alan's Tasting Notes

"A stunning South African - peachy fruits punctuated by zingy lime zest intermingled with creamy butterscotch and a long lingering toasty finish from 12 months in new French oak - an absolute stunner that is made in limited quantities - who needs premium white burgundy which is unavailable when South Africa can produce sublime substitutes like this - pricey but solid good value well worth every penny!" September 2022

Accolade

  • 95 points Tim Atkin (2019 vintage)

Specifications

Year 2019
Bottle Size 750ml
Cultivar Chardonnay
Country South Africa
Alcohol content
13% alc vol 
Units of Alcohol per Bottle 9.8 units
Type White Wine
Cellaring Potential Up to 5 years from vintage
Features Vegetarian & Vegan approved
Allergen Information Contains sulphites
Food Matches The Eleanor Chardonnay is the perfect wine to enjoy with food or on its own.
Origin WO Western Cape
Appellation Stellenbosch