Iona, Elgin Highlands Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin, South Africa, 2020
At 420m above sea-level, set high above the picturesque Elgin Valley Andrew Gunn founded Iona. It is here overlooking the Atlantic ocean that he has secured some of the coolest vineyards in the Cape.
In a country where cool climate vineyards are like gold dust, these vineyards are veritable nuggets. There is an extremely long growing season, allowing Andrew to create wines with complex flavours and a fresh, elegant style. The approach is hands off and the land is farmed according to organic and biodynamic practices with a particular focus on ensuring the health of the soils whilst pests are kept under control by the resident flock of geese that roam the vineyards.
A combination of gravel bed, Sandstone and silica soils quartz soils with underlying clay support the vines which were planted between 1997 and 2012. The aim is 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 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.
Type: French 500L
% wine oaked: 4
% new oak: None
Beautiful fruit 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.
Fresh asparagus, chicken and seafood dishes but is also enjoyable by itself.
Wine Safari 92 Points
With a 7 percent portion of Semillon, the 2020 is wild fermented in second and third fill 500 litre barrels and offers aromatics of green apple, white pear, lemon grass and a hint of capsicum peppers. The wine is mellow and fine tuned, beautifully integrated and fresh with crystalline purity, bright acids and a complex, pithy, stony mineral finish. Drinking very well now with an overt, harmonious finesse. 92 Points, GS(MW) May 2022.
Sauvignon Blanc 96%
6 x 75cl
Elgin, South Africa
Elgin, South Africa