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Exploring Iona wines with Jamie Goode

Soils of Iona

 

Jamie Goode, while exploring Elgin – Africa's coolest wine region – spent some time on Iona with Andrew Gunn inspecting soils, vines and Iona's wines. According to Jamie:

Gunn is a big fan of Chardonnay. They have 6 hectares in three blocks, and they've just planted another 3 hectares. Iona is also very well known for its Sauvignon Blanc, which is one of the very best examples of this variety in the Cape. The regular Sauvignon is very pure and precise.

There are now three Iona farms. As well as the home farm, on top of a ridge at the edge of the Elgin region, there's another, Rozy's farm Brocha, further down in the valley, which specialises in Syrah, among other things. The main farm has 29 hectares of vines, while Brocha has 11 hectares, making a total of 40. Recently, Iona acquired a spectacular new farm, Langrug, with distinctive koffieklip decomposed shale soils. This has 14 hectares of vines, including some very good Pinot Noir and 2 hectares of recently planted Nebbiolo.

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The Wines


❱  2016 Iona Sauvignon Blanc

Intense and lively with grapefruit and herb on the nose. Pristine with lovely precision on the intense palate which shows tight, crisp fruit and a touch of herbiness, as well as some salinity. Very driven and focused. Pure.
|   91/100   (10/16)

❱  2016 Iona Chardonnay

Just bottled. Textural and spicy with nice depth to the white peach and pear fruit. Some citrus and a bit of pithiness. A really impressive youthful wine.
|   93/100   (03/17)

❱  2015 Solace

Vivid, peppery, bright and juicy with lovely freshness to the direct plum and cherry fruit. Elegant and fine with lovely detail, and hints of clove and olive. Such balance and weight.
|   94/100   (03/17)

❱  2015 Pinot Noir

Fresh and supple with lovely elegance. Finely spiced with red cherries and plums. Fresh and bright with purity, precision and detail.
|   93/100   (03/17)

❱  2010 One Man Band Red

Mainly Shiraz but with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Mourvèdre in the blend. 16 months in 500 litre oak. Brooding blackcurrant and blackberry nose. Very fresh with lively, focused fruit and a bit of grippiness. Firm, spicy and gravelly.
|   91/100   (10/16)

❱  2015 One Man Band White

This is 60% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon, pressed whole bunch to old 500 litre barrels, wild ferment. Really complex, taut and detailed with grapefruit, aniseed and lemon notes. Compact and pure with great acidity. So fine and pure.
|   94/100  (10/16)


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Werner Muller, who leads winemaking at Iona since coming over from Chamonix in 2011, says about Iona's Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and One Man Band wines:

For me, how we could improve Sauvignon Blanc is through texture. We are all serious about Chardonnay in Elgin – it's the place in South Africa to plant this variety. Time in oak gives One Man Band a bit of fatness and develops flavour, without it being clumsy or overdone.

IMAGES COURTECY OF WINEANORAK.COM

Image collage with Iona winemaker Werner Muller and grapes