Iona Elgin Highlands Pinot Noir 2018
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 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 with low malic acids and intense fruit flavours.
Perfumed with a floral nose of rose petals, black and red cherries, strawberries and underlying spice notes. The palate is textured, succulent and complex, with a long savoury finish. Vibrant acidity and fine grained chalky tannins make this a powerful and exceptional age worthy wine. This is classic, focussed Pinot Noir.
Grapes were hand harvested into small crates and spent overnight in a cold room. Extensive bunch sorting by hand prior to destemming occured. Bunches were destemmed without crushing, with 10% whole bunch for complexity. Grapes were cold soaked for 5-7 days prior to the start of fermentation. Fermentation occured naturally in open top fermenters. A combination of gentle punchdowns and pumpovers by hand 2 times per day, depending on requirements were used during fermentation where temperature peaked at 32°C. The wines were transferred to 500L and 300L French oak barrels where malolactic fermentation took place (33% new wood, the rest 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill). Maturation in oak was for 12 months, on the lees for the full period. After ageing for 12 months in barrel, the wines were racked and blended (27% Kloof, 12% Kroon, 16% Danie Huis, 45% Beeskamp) in stainless steel tank. The wines were clarified naturally for a period of 2 months before bottling.