Iona - Into the third decade

Thursday, 5 December, 2019
Brad Gold
To think that I left the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg to settle down as an apple farmer! Never did I dream that into my third decade on the farm all the apple trees would be pulled out to be replaced with the most beautiful vineyard.

The wine business has been my most difficult, exciting and stimulating challenge.  I have learnt a lot, made mistakes and pushed boundaries, with more to come, all made possible by this unique and special site!

The focus of Iona is Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, with the vineyards up to 22 years old.  This year we gave the brand a subtle facelift which included a wrap around label with contour lines indicating the elevated plateau on which Iona is situated and  introduced the word Monopole, the French term to own and farm your vineyard, not using bought in grapes. The only way to ensure consistent quality.

We also recently introduced four Single Vineyard, limited volume wines to our range. These wines demonstrate the varying micro climates and soil types found on the farm. They have challenged us to farm the vineyards specifically, as the terroir of the vineyards demand an individual approach.

The Kloof Vineyard is dry land farmed. Grown in silica quartz both the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir from this vineyard are chalky, linear and austere with razor sharp, focussed acidity with significant ageing potential. The Fynbos vineyard with its north facing slopes, well drained soils with a deep clay layer results in a rich, generous style Chardonnay. The Kroon vineyard is the highest vineyard on Iona with gravel beds and sandstone soils with a high concentration of ferrocrete. The Pinot Noir from this vineyard is voluptuous with charming velvety tannins.

We are thrilled with these wines and delighted to share them with you.

Thank you for your support and encouragement over the years.

With best wishes,
Andrew Gunn

We have had some wonderful feedback on the wines;
 
“Two Vineyards called Kloof and Kroon. Both differ markedly from each other, suggesting that the term “terroir” is meaningful in this context. One is palpably “earthier”, while the other as an almost crystalline purity. They are likely to cement Elgins and Iona’s reputation for the so-called heartbreak grape and add to the growing fascination with single-site wines.” - Michael Fridjhon

Reminds me of Gevrey Chambertin” - Remington Norman

“The elegance, tannic structure and purity of fruit are exemplary” - Dr Jamie Harrison, Wine Author
 
“The wines are understated yet confident in their distinction and promise to age well” - Angela Lloyd

“The wines today were really outstanding and the vision you had to eventually make these single vineyards wines is remarkable and honourable”
Harald Bresselschmidt - Chef & Owner of Aubergine Restaurant, Cape Town
 
Both are first rate, among the elite of Cape Chardonnays – which is saying something. They should develop splendidly in the bottle – five years easily, possibly ten or more” – Tim James, winemag.co.za
 
Christian Eedes:
 
Iona Kloof Chardonnay 2017 - 94/100
An ethereal nose, only the vaguest notes of citrus and stone fruit to be discerned plus a little flinty reduction. 
Iona Fynbos Chardonnay 2017 - 96/100
The palate is pristine – great fruit definition, driving acidity and a super-pithy finish. This has presence without being weighty and is just wonderfully focused.
Iona Kloof Pinot Noir 2017 - 93/100
Red fruit, dried herbs and fynbos on the nose. The palate is lean and fresh with fine yet grippy tannins. Wonderfully delicate and light alcohol
Iona Kroon Pinot Noir 2017 - 94/100
Some floral fragrance before wild strawberry, white pepper and a hint of earth. The palate shows great fruit purity and energy, the tannins fine and mouthcoating. Real finesse here.

Tim Atkin MW:
 
Iona Kloof Chardonnay  2017  - 94
Showing appealing struck match aromas, this is focused and elegant, driven by acidity, but with plenty of supporting weight and flavour. Long and nuanced.
Iona Fynbos Chardonnay  2017 - 93
Weighty, rich and powerful, it has digested its oak since I reviewed it last year. Very promising. 2019-24
Iona Kloof Pinot Noir 2017 - 92
It's a wine that needs a little more time in bottle to integrate its tannins. 2020-26
Iona Kroon Pinot Noir 2017 - 94
Aromatic and intense, it has fine tannins, stony complexity and layers of cherry and summer berry fruit. The 18% new wood is very well integrated

Visit www.iona.co.za for more information.  

Andrew Gunn
Andrew Gunn









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