Iona Elgin Highlands Sauvignon Blanc
The season started with a cool June month and average rainfall, followed by the warmest July on record (3°C warmer than the long-term avg.) and well below the long term average rainfall. This resulted in very early budding. The warm July was followed by a cold August and September (both months about 2°C cooler than previous year) with some frost at the start of budding. This led to uneven budding. Strong winds towards the end of October and November resulted in a lengthy and uneven flowering period with reduced crop levels and berry size. December and January was characterised by cool growing conditions, with January being especially cool. Overall, the growing season was extremely dry. Harvest started on the 4th of March - one of the earliest experienced at Iona. Towards the end of harvest three days of rain increased disease pressure and it made our investment in a state of the art Bucher Oscillys destemmer worth every cent. Sorting was crucial this year and the fruit that remained shows wonderful intensity of fruit concentration. It’s tough years like this that makes us better farmers.
Beautiful purity of limes and ripe gooseberry, with tropical, floral and fine herbal notes, ruby grapefruit and white pear drop on the finish. This is cool climate Sauvignon Blanc – vibrant, mineral, elegant, balanced and delicate, with a long, layered and complex finish.
We aim for elegance, balance and to express the unique terroir of the Elgin Highlands. Grapes were hand-picked into crates early in the morning to ensure that the grapes stayed cool. Each of the 9 blocks are harvested and vinified separately. 10% skin contact for between 8-12 hours. After gentle pressing, the must was settled, maintaining a temperature of 6-8°C. Fermentation occurred at 14-16°C, using different commercial yeast strains particularly suited to Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was kept on the gross lees for 5 months and stirred regularly to enhance the richness of the mid-palate. The 4% Sémillon component was fermented naturally in 2nd and 3rd fill 500L French oak barrels to enhance the mid palate weight and to add complexity to the wine. A selection of different Sauvignon Blanc vineyard sites were naturally fermented in 500L French oak barrels. The barrel fermentation component made up 4% of the final blend.