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Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2020


Wine Club Members pay only R166. Find out more

The Kaaimansgat or Crocodile’s Lair vineyard is hidden away in the Elandskloof Valley behind the village of Villiersdorp, just 80km from Hermanus. A beautiful spot inside a blind valley nestled amongst majestic mountains. Bouchard Finlayson has been linked directly to this vineyard for close to twenty six years. It is located 700m above sea level, ripens a month later than other Cape Chardonnays and benefits enormously from cool autumn temperatures. The vines are not irrigated and they produce small berries of high skin to juice ratio, which adds an extra flavour component to this superior wine.

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Spring 2019 saw ideal weather conditions during flower and fruit set, heightening expectations for the upcoming vintage. However, our hopes were soon challenged by the atypical and unstable weather presented early in the New Year. Fortunately, dry conditions set in as soon as harvest commenced, with the crop remaining healthy. Volumes recovered slightly from the light 2019 vintage and all-round, unexpectedly positive, fruit-quality was delivered to the cellar.

Recent Awards

94 pts – Michael Fridjhon, Wine Wizard, 2022

93 pts – International Wine Challenge, 2022

91 pts – Christian Eedes,, 2022


This remote vineyard is planted to Chardonnay clones 76 and 95 – each expressing the site in their own unique way. Once the juices are liberated from the berries, it is left to settle for 10hours in tank, without the addition of any enzymes. This juice, still containing a fair amount of solids, are transferred to barrel for fermentation. These solids impact the sensory profile and improve mouthfeel. Aiming for increased fruit focus, our traditional 228L barrels are now complemented by a number of 350L barrels. The final blend is racked to tank, following eight month’s maturation and bottled in January 2021.


Alcohol: 13.59 vol%
Acid: 5.6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.6 g/l
pH: 3.43
Total SO2: 86 mg/l
Volatile Acidity: 0.56 g/l
Allergens: Sulphites
Suitable for Vegans

Tasting notes

Lush mineral spice and stone fruit blossom at the fore. Explosive lime-infused
flavours of green apple are amplified by a precise energy. Gentle touch of candied
ginger and toast. Vivacious and lasting finish. Drink now through 2025.

Food pairing

The richness of the wine works very well with a mild tandoori salmon and coriander chutney. Leafy herb salad with a light drizzle of miso dressing. Classic avocado ritz.

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