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Stony Brook is a classic little estate perched up on the very Southern end of the Franchhoek Valley. stretched out in the foothills of the Franschoek Mountains at an altitude of about 350m above sea level. It forms part of an idyllic stretch of premium vineyards on the elevated Southern Rim of the valley. The property was bought by Nigel and Joy McNaught, back in 1995; and in 2011, their son Craig  joined the team as both director and winemaker. 
When Craig is not making Stony Brook wines, deeply inspired by the classicism of the old world, he spends time purging his inner wine freak by co-running the rather wild project known as Lokaia wines – an outfit that sees Craig teaming up with Moreson Winemaker Clayton Reabow to produce crazy old vine semillons, and wild amphorae-fermented Chardonnays and Cabernet Francs.

But Craig is also sure to keep Lokaia and Stony Brook quite separate, so as to maintain the very distinct seam that runs through all the Stony Brook wines. Today’s wine – the Ghost Gum Chardonnay 2021 is a delightfully restrained example of Chardonnay can be, and serves to further shine a light on the incredibly exciting wines coming out of Franschhoek’sSouthern Rim; an idyllic stretch of premium vineyards, which includes the Bo-Hoek, and is home to producers like Boekenhoutskloof, Wildeberg, Biodynamic disciples Haut Espoir, and the now world famous La Colline vineyards, which provide fruit for winemakers like Jean Smit from Damascene and Chris Alheit from Alheit wines.

If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won’t be able to sip along to this video, but I have left my tasting notes and some technical specs to help minimise your FOMO:

Tasting Notes

👃🏼 A delightfully serious nose of chalk, lemon rind, seville oranges, roasted almond, and lighter touches of toffee.
👄 The palate has lovely weight which carries a fairly serious mix of restrained white peach, lemon pith, gravel dust and more savoury smoky roasted almond elements. The finish is a delicate mixture of linger lime and lemon elements.

Technical Notes


Wine of Origin Franschhoek.100% Chardonnay. Two separate blocks of Chardonnay, grown on the Stony Brook Estate. The older block was planted in 2007, and consists of a mix of CY95 and CY 55. The younger block is entirely planted with the rather sought after CY548 clone, which delivers lovely concentration, texture and stony mineral elements (but also much lower yields). The parcels of fruit were inoculated with VIN2000, made by
Final wine was matured in oak for 10 months. 25% new.
Alc 12.43% | TA 5.9g/l | RS 1.9g/l | pH 3.41 |
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