Day 3, South Africa - the Elgin marvels

My first visit to Elgin! One of the goals of this trip is to visit regions that previously I’d missed – Elgin, Elim, Hemel-en-Aarde.

So it was off to Iona this morning, to visit the vineyards with Andrew Gunn (above) and then taste with a group of producers: Paul Cluver, Oak Valley, Shannon and Iona.

This is a genuinely cool climate region: a plateau at altitude surrounded by mountains, with altitude ranging from 300-600 metres above sea level.

Andries Burger and Paul Cluver began the tasting with a pair of 1997 Sauvignons: one the regular, unoaked version; the second a barrel-fermented style. They were both remarkably good, but the barrel-fermented wine was fresher, with purer fruit, and was just delicious. Who’d have thought it?

There’s something special about Elgin. I tried a range of wines, including some serious Riesling, serious Sauvignon (look out for Iona 2010 – brilliant), and great Chardonnay. There were even reds: a cool-climate Syrah, Pinot Noirs in different styles, and a silky Merlot. The standard of the wines was really high. Full write-up to follow. I came away enthused, and with a full belly after a wonderful lunch prepared by Andrew’s wife Rosie.

6 comments to Day 3, South Africa – the Elgin marvels

  • keith prothero

    Great bunch SA winemakers. Just another day in paradise!!

  • Laurence

    I organised a wine lunch just before yours. 11 of us, 14 bottles and. 3 halves! As well as vieux telegraph 99, Kirwan 95, la dome 04, Grahams 91 we had the noble Iona 07 (botrytis sauv blanc) – absolutely lovely. Most preferred it to the 02 suidaraud

  • Is that my old chum John Seccombe on the right?

  • it is indeed – winemaker at Iona

  • Great to have Jamie at Iona.
    Delighted Lawrence enjoyed the 2007 Noble Iona which unfortunately we have just made once at this stage, due to perfect botrytis in 2007 in our Klipkop (Rockhead) vineyard.
    My wife, Rozy and I visited Yquem a few years ago and were delighted to see 10% of their vineyards are Sauvignon Blanc which also doesn’t always develop botrytis, but when they do they are very pleased due to the wonderful acidity Sauvignon Blanc brings to the wine.
    Excuse my ignorance but what is suidaraud?

  • Laurence

    Suduiraut – spelled badly from an iPhone!

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