SRP of $15 and available for as low as $14. Sample received courtesy DGB for review purposes.
From the bottle:
"This unique blend of two noble cultivars is made from grapes grown on cool mountain slopes with deep gravel soils. The Chardonnay component contributes a richness and the backbone to the wine, while Pinot Noir adds the fruit and elegance with its characteristic hints of ripe red berries. This pale red copper colored wine is an unique combination in every aspect and a wine made with care and commitment, gentle oak maturation giving it the potential to age well if not enjoyed right now.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir? In the same wine? I knew right away that I had to try this wine. On top of that, this one comes from the winery that produced our Chardonnay Showdown winner. And on top of that, it also comes from South Africa which has been doing some really exciting and unique things with wine. (See our Saturday Splurge last week, The Bernard Series SMV.) Throw the $14 price tag into the mix and how could I possibly resist?
The 2010 Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay Pinot Noir shows a copper color in the grass. It looks more like a white wine than a red but in addition to the blend, the Pinot Noir had minimal contact with the grape skins which is what imparts the darker color to red wine. My first thought on smelling the wine is that it reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc. Gooseberry, tropical fruit, a little wet grass and a little spice are the primary aromas. The wine tastes; however, of peach and honey with light raspberry flavors and a real nice minerality. This one is very easy to drink with a nice combination of flavors and a long finish. I can see this being a good complement to many different foods.
It's always interesting to see reactions to a wine like this, precisely because it breaks conventions. If you drink this wine expecting a Chardonnay, you won't be blown away. If you go in expecting a Pinot Noir, you'll definitely be disappointed. But if you can set aside those expectations and judge the Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay Pinot Noir on its own merits you'll find a really nice, very drinkable and definitely unique wine. That's plenty good enough for me and this one gets a well deservedRecommended Buy rating.
Other recommended buys from Boschendal:
2009 Boschendal 1685 Shiraz - A Perfectly Pleasing Pepper Party
2009 Boschendal 1685 Sauvignon Blanc Grande Cuvée - Complex and Creamy
2009 Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay - Hello, It's Very Nice to Meet You
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.