Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay 2017
Restrained, mineral style focussed on elegance with a white fruit character, some oatmeal and some complexity gained from percipient applied wood.
WINE OF ORIGIN:
Elgin, Western Cape, South Africa.
100% Chardonnay made from Dijon clones CY96, CY95, CY76 and the Entav clone CY548.
Soil is more than a medium in which to plant the vine. Whilst it does not directly impart character, i.e. flintiness from
flinty soils, it does impact various nuances depending on its type. The soils used to grow the grapes for both the Kershaw Elgin
Chardonnay and Syrah come from a variety of gravel-based soils:
• Tukulu (50% gravel, 25% friable clay and 25% sand) giving elegance, freshness and aromatics
• Koue Bokkeveld shales in three parcels giving structure and concentration of flavours
• One parcel of sand and pebbles (essentially Table Mountain sandstone) giving delicacy and fruity flavours
TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION:
19.7 tons selected from 9 small parcels of Chardonnay.
In 2012, owner Richard Kershaw MW, established Richard Kershaw Wines to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wine paradigms from apposite noble grapes i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples. SA’s coolest wine district, Elgin Valley, reflected these principles benefitting from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, enabling the germane grapes, Chardonnay, Syrah and more recently Pinot Noir, to show a sense of place.
Hand-Picking Dates: 22nd February – 13th March 2017 Brix at Harvest: 21.60 – 24.20
Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils
and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage
& root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in late February through to mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense fruit flavours.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.
A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 38% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, both 228 and 500 litres in size, with 10% left to ferment and mature in breathable eggs.
15300 750ml bottles and 70 magnums.