2016 Kershaw GPS Series Vermaaklikheid Chardonnay
RANGE: GPS Series (Grape Positioning System)
VARIETAL INFORMATION: 100% Chardonnay made from Dijon clone CY95
WINE OF ORIGIN: Cape South Coast, South Africa
TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 2.22 tons selected from 1 small parcel of Chardonnay.
OVERVIEW: During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look.
In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils –
a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay
grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.
VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 8th February 2016 Brix at Harvest: 20.50
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 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 potential 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 also dipped, more so 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 in early February. Although the acidities were softer than average, the fruit concentration was high and the wines have an excellent flavour profile.
WINEMAKING: Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, 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, blending and bottling.
BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 35% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, 228 litres in size.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 1300 bottles were produced, each individually marked on the label.
TASTING PROFILE: Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2016 vintage exudes verve, grippy acidity and density in the mid palate. The fruit leans to Valencia oranges, dried pineapple/ exotic fruit, a touch of lemon curd and nectarine with a clementine pith texture, saline austerity and purity that will unfold over the next decade