Julien Schaal lives and makes delicious wine in his native Alsace in the village of Saint-Hippolyte in the Colmar region. While working the 2003 harvest at Bouchard Finlayson, he fell in love with South Africa: “The people, the landscape and the history were so different than Alsace and so exciting at the same time.” He befriended Gordon Newton Johnson and made plans to return to South Africa to make wine here. For the vintages of 2005-2010 Julien enjoyed making wines with the Newton Johnson family in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. In 2011 a partnership was born between Paul Cluver Estate and Julien; from this vintage forward all the Chardonnay fruit has come from the estate and both wines are now made there. This arrangement has enabled Julien to manage everything from the vineyard to the bottle. Julien’s wines show a lightness of touch while remaining concentrated and true to both origin and cultivar. Today, he still shares his time between his home in Alsace and the Western Cape.
No overt wood characters on the nose. Subtle citrus fruit and citrus blossom fragrances are apparent on the nose, with hints of vanilla pod and almond flakes. These characteristics follow through onto the palate, which is noticeably ‘pebbly’. The fine, fresh acidity is natural, and adds poise and focus to the wine.