2016 Kershaw DECONSTRUCTED Lake District Cartref CY96
VARIETAL INFORMATION: 100% Chardonnay made from Dijon clone CY96.
WINE OF ORIGIN: Lake District, Elgin, South Africa
TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 0.5 tons selected from 1 small parcel of Chardonnay.
OVERVIEW: The inspiration for these 3 Deconstructed Chardonnay’s stems from my belief that the Elgin region boasts credentials that make it world-class. To bolster these regional credentials, I have set out to prove that Elgin has both a signature grape, as well as specific ‘terroirs’/meso-climates that reflect intra-regional distinctions. To fully comprehend this, it is necessary to dig deeper into the nuances/DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make these 3 Chardonnay wines that have been selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.
VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 2nd March 2016 Brix at Harvest: 22.30
SEASON: In 2016, the preceding winter was fairly dry but cold units were exceptional (1200) with plenty of frosty mornings, allowing the vines to go into a proper dormancy. Rain did finally fall in August and September but as October began, the effect of the El Niño phenomenon (or ENSO episode) started to take effect. October was unusually warm accelerating budbreak and flowering. The fluctuating warm and cool days meant flowering was uneven, giving rise to smaller bunch sizes. After a cooler November, December was warm, sunny and dry enabling diseases to be kept at bay. A hot and dry January, meant acidity retention by the vine was challenging but after a warm start to February, the weather finally became cooler – and night time temperatures dipped more than average – providing the vine with some respite after a particularly torrid summer. The drier conditions meant that disease pressure was minimal and a healthy crop was picked between February and March. Although the acidities were softer than average, the fruit concentration was high and the wines have a very good
WINEMAKING: 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 580 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 and bottling.
BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 50% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, 228 litres in size.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 350 bottles were produced, all individually marked on the label.
TASTING PROFILE: Sourced from the Western part of Elgin, known as the Lake District, this clone produces wines that are nervous, aromatic, elegant and sharp with slightly lower alcohol and finely balanced, the fruit profile being subtle with hints of citrus/orange peel and peach blossom and with time, some nutty elements. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, adds delicacy and heightens the fruit intensity.