WINEMAKER'S NOTE – WERNER MULLER
From the 2008 vintage, we have decided to produce a red blend that is reflective of the best of the red wines Iona produces. It is a wine that will reflect two very different terroirs: the warm, ripe Syrah from our Brocha vineyards lower down in the Elgin Valley, and the cool, fresh Cabernet and Merlot from Iona's vineyards, high up overlooking the Atlantic. The idea behind producing this wine is to produce something that is incomparable and unique to our property.
The blend will also contain small components of Petit Verdot and Mourvèdre and even Viognier in some years, all grown on Brocha, adding up to something that does not draw comparison to Old World, or even other South African wines.
The 2008 wine is dominated by Shiraz, giving us warm, ripe spicy fruit with wonderful depth and concentration. Cool Cabernet and Merlot then lift and freshen the wine. In each vintage, the blend will be different, as we want to show the best expression of the red wines produced in any given year, rather than relying on a formula for the blend.
Our red wine vinification is very traditional, with grapes being hand-harvested before being de-stemmed and hand-sorted on a vibrating table. Extraction is achieved using regular pump-overs, which helps the development of tannins.
Later on in the ferment we switch to punching down to keep the skins submerged in the wine, as we enter a period of extended maceration following alcoholic fermentation. During this time, the wines are tasted every day in order to assess the extraction level and when to press-off.
Once pressed off, the wines undergo spontaneous malolactic fermentation in tank before being racked to barrel where they will undergo 12-18 months of aging in French oak barrels, of which 25% is new oak. During this maturation in barrel, the wine will be racked 2-3 times to help clarify it naturally and to help develop its aroma and structure.
The typical flavour profile is classically Cabernet with deep, dark cassis and cigar box aromas.
Adds bright, rich red fruits to the blend.
Syrah is dense and powerful, but with bags of ripe red berry fruit and spice. It provides the warmth in the blend that is a perfect counterpoint to the coolness of the Iona contributions.
Mourvèdre lends weight, spice and wild berries to the blend.
It is very tannic and dark, but brings great colour, structure and aromatics to the blend.
Viognier is a very aromatic varietal and brings perfume to the blend. Jasmine, almonds and peaches are classic Viognier aromas.