Durbanville Hills Chardonnay 2016

JUST THE FACTS

Price: R56.00 (as of May 2017)
Winery: Durbanville Hills
Varietal: Chardonnay (wooded)
Wine Region: Durbanville
Country: South Africa

JONO SAYS

Quality: 10/20
Value: 2/5
Ponce Factor: Lower than the pants in a Limp Bizkit video
Occasion: Serve this with the end of the month salticrack snack.

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The juicy, ripe citrus acidity would be quite pleasant, were it not served over the sensory equivalent of peach-hued builders’ sandpaper. Light elements of vanilla elevate the whole performance somewhat, but not by much. The dry lemon zest on the tail would ordinarily be a nice addition, but in this context, that extra bite detracts rather than adds. If mouthfeel could be measured in #1 hit songs, this wine would be Los Del Rio.

What is Mouthfeel?

Mouthfeel is the combination of Body and Astringency. But as is the case with Melania and Donald, to understand how they work together, you have to understand what they are on their own.

Astringency

Like any aging rapper, Astringency can be called by many names; dry mouth, cotton cheeks, sticky teeth, Arizona catbox (I may have made that last one up…feel free to use it).
The effect is the same. At worst it feels as though all saliva has been soaked up. Your teeth stick to your cheeks, and your tongue sticks to your palate. Talking is is not advised.
But at it’s best, astringency can add complexity and dynamism to a wine. It can give the impression of “bigness” in the mouth. Hell, it’s part of what makes wine more interesting to than fruit juice.

“As is the case with Melania and Donald, to understand how they work together, you have to understand what they are on their own.”

Body

Quite simply it is the weight of a liquid in your mouth. Honey has more body than cream. And cream has more body than water.
Obviously, the comparisons in wine are a little more subtle but not indiscernible.
Most of us can tell when we have been duped into drinking fat-free milk. It’s grey, and lifeless, but most importantly, it feels like water. Full cream milk feels somehow…heavier. The higher fat content adds to a feeling of weight on the tongue.
In wine, that weight (or body) can be added by higher levels of sugar, alcohol, or the occurrence of malolactic fermentation.

About the Author

Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.

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