Iona, Elgin Highlands Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin, South Africa, 2022
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.
The dry, cool conditions at the beginning of the season, result in concentrated fruit, with intense flavour, while late rains and typical cold Elgin winter nourishing the vineyards and this allows to pick fruit at optimal ripeness, with low alcohol levels and pH's and balanced acidities.
Hand-picked and whole bunch pressed. The juice was settled for 12hours, before being racked to 500L French oak barrels (2nd,3rd and 4th fill). Fermentation was spontaneous and the temperature was kept between 18 - 22°C. The wine was aged for 11 months in barrel, before it was racked blended in stainless steel tanks. The wine aged for a further 3 months in tank and was clarified and stabilised naturally anf lightly filtered before being bottled.
Type: 500l French Oak
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None
Perfectly ripe Sauvignon Blanc grapes, crushed and fermented with wild yeast in large wood format results in an array of complexity: textured, multi-layered with minerality, salinity, blackcurrent, white stone fruits, a rich palate and a long zesty finish.
Seafood with south-east Asian flavours such as lime, chilli and coriander or Thai fish cakes.
Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 93 Points
A wine that does what it says on the label, this wild yeast-fermented Sauvignon Blanc hails from four sites on sandstone soils. The subtle wood integration is well done here, framing a palate of lemongrass, greengage and pink grapefruit and a herbal, faintly salty undertone. Impressive stuff. 2023-29. 93 Points, TA, August 2023.
Sauvignon Blanc 100%
6 x 75cl
Award: Jancis Robinson 17 Points