IONA Elgin Highlands Chardonnay
A cool winter ensured good vine dormancy with below average rainfall and conditions similar to 2015, 2016 and 2017. Sunny weather during bud break led to even budding. Dry and windy conditions in spring resulted in uneven flowering and berry set with some smaller berries having a good concentration of flavours. Despite dry growing conditions, cool weather conditions in December and January (didn't have the normal heat spike we would get in early January) ensured slow, even ripening and acid conversion. The absence of rainfall during veraison resulted in a vintage with less disease pressure. The drier year resulted in pristine grapes with high natural acidity, low malic acids and intense fruit flavours.
Stylish and burgundian with lime and lemon undertones. Bright citrus, oyster shell minerality, and a hint of almonds and biscuit brioche on the finish. Beautiful floral notes and bright fresh acidity persist.
The vineyards are between 9-15 years old. The grapes were hand-picked, before being whole bunch pressed. No settling enzymes were used, resulting in juice containing more solids. This wine was 100% wild fermented in a selection of 300L and 228L French oak barrels (31% new, the rest in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels). Lees stirring was done every 3rd week for 4 months to add complexity and texture. The wine remained on the lees for a total of 11 months. 12% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation to add richness and texture. Thereafter, the wines were racked and blended (26% Block F4, 18% Block F5, Kloof 1st 41% and Kloof 2nd 15%) in stainless steel tanks. The wine was fined and stabilised naturally for a period of three months before bottling.