Iona, Sophie Te'Blanche Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin, South Africa, 2023
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.
Grapes are sourced from 6 dedicated growers in the Elgin, Botriver, Walker Bay and Villiersdorp area. Soils on the different sites range from decomposed sandstone to decomposed Bokkeveld Shale with underlying clay layers of varying depths. Variety of aspects, soils, clones and row directions makes it possible to grow Sauvignon grapes expressing its origin, with each vineyard adding different characteristics to the final blend.
Grapes were hand harvested at optimal ripeness during the season. Grapes are crushed and pressed immediately. Juice was settled overnight before being inoculated with a variety of selected yeast. After fermentation, wines are racked and spend 4 months on the fine lees before blending and bottling.
No oak ageing
Floral notes with a complex medley of tropical fruits, mingled with subtle lime and gooseberry undertones. The palate is balanced and rich, showing cut green apples with great minerality and texture. Sophie te'Blanche, a nickname given by those including our workers, who can't pronounce Sauvignon Blanc, is the inspiration behind this much loved wine, produced from grapes grown by dedicated farmers in Elgin and the Cape South Coast.
Asparagus, fish with hollandais sauce. Thai Food.
Sauvignon Blanc 100%
6 x 75cl
Award: Jancis Robinson 17 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 93 Points