Iona confirming Elgin’s propensity for producing excellent Chardonnay

IT’S ONE OF THOSE wine route destinations off the beaten track that’s worth seeking out for the wines but also for the location – above the basin and south of where most of the other Elgin cellars are to be found, close to the sea, and dramatic in terms of the scenery, the weather and the family behind it all. The first vineyards at Iona were planted in the late 1990s and it wasn’t long before proprietor Andrew Gunn and his team were producing one of South Africa’s most highly-regarded Sauvignon Blancs. These days, however, there are a number of other strings to their bow, one of which could one day take over as the property’s flagship in terms of the white wines, at least.

The first vintage of Iona Chardonnay was good, but the volume was tiny. The 2007 was a hit with the critics, as was the 2009, but down the line the 2013 and 2014 vintages have been fetching gold medals, 5 Star ratings and trophies around the world in competition with delightful bottlings from New and Old World producers that have included Elgin Chardonnay front-runners Paul Cluver and Oak Valley as well as Richard Kershaw among the notable newcomers.

At R187 a bottle, the 2014 Iona Chardonnay is sold out ex-cellar though should still be available from good retailers. According to the winemakers: “Lime and lemon undertones. Bright citrus, oyster shell… a hint of almonds and biscuit brioche on the finish. Beautiful floral notes…”

The 2015 vintage is expected on-shelf in April 2016. Can’t wait!


One comment

  • Delicate and distinctive alright; unusual, atypical. Even the colour is different from what many Chardonnay lovers might expect. Interesting fruit and almost puckering on the palate. More please!