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Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks 2017

ID No: 446459
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Country:South Africa
Region:Western Cape
Grape Type:Chardonnay
Winery:Kershaw
Product Description

Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
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.


Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.


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 590 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.


Review:
"Delicate, precise nose with hints of lemon and flint. A finely sculpted wine that evokes oyster shells, savory sage. Mandarin pith and lemon zest notes persist on the extended finish. Made entirely from Dijon clone CY95. Part of the GPS Series, the vineyard lies east of Agulhas and 5 km from the sea on an escarpment of clay over limestone. Sees about 40% new 228L oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts




Winery: Kershaw

Surrounded by mountains, the Elgin district sits in the Western Cape of South Africa. The year-round cool climate is perfect for producing grapes with rich, subtle flavors.
Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, our Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.

Richard Kershaw Wines was established in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, South Africa’s coolest wine region. Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, our Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.

Winery Philosophy: Our commitment is to make the best wines possible from the vine clones best suited to our unique terroir. Our grapes are grown in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape of South Africa. We produce only a very limited number of cases of Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay and Kershaw Elgin Syrah each vintage. Our aim always is to produce some of the best wines of their style in South Africa.

Owner: Richard Kershaw MW

Date Founded: January 2012

Born and raised in the UK, Richard travelled extensively before settling in South Africa in 1999 to make wine full time. He established Richard Kershaw Wines in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, the country’s coolest wine region, choosing to focus on apposite noble grapes (ones with the ability to produce world-class examples) and now has a stable of award-winning, much in demand wines including Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah.
One of only 10 Masters of Wine who actively make their own wines and South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard is much in demand when not in the vineyard or cellar. A wine show judge for many prestigious competitions around the globe, he is also part of the educational panel for the Institute of Masters of Wine, lectures for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in South Africa, and shares the breadth of his knowledge with students and consumers via talks, tastings and blogs.

Our grapes are grown in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape of South Africa. We produce a limited number of cases of Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir each vintage under our Clonal Selection range, and site- soil- and clone- specific Elgin Chardonnay and Syrah in our Deconstructed range. We have recently introduced our GPS Series range which explores unusual sites from outside the Elgin region, and our Smuggler's Boot range in which Richard uses a variety of winemaking techniques to produce easy drinking wines. Our aim always is to produce some of the best wines of their style in South Africa.


The Elgin Valley benefits from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, similar to Southern Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, which enables the germane grapes, Chardonnay and Syrah, to show a sense of place.

Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay makes use of the lower-yielding Dijon clones, namely 76, 95 & 96 (developed at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France), offering a restrained, mineral style focused on elegance with a white, fruit character, some oatmeal, and complexity gained from percipient wood.

Kershaw Elgin Syrah makes use of local clones 9c and 22 giving subtlety and precision built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness and flavours of black fruit, iodine, medicinal notes and black pepper.

Kershaw Elgin Pinot Noir makes use of French clones PN667, PN115 and PN113 giving floral attributes underscored by purity, focus and freshness framed by fine powder tannins yet cushioned by a succulent texture and flavours of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry.

Each Clonal Selection wine is made from 3-4 small parcels on terroir-specific plots with particular soils types. Each Deconstructed wine is made from clone specific, soil specific site in Elgin. They are all handpicked into small lugs and vinified in Elgin travelling no more than 10-15 minutes between vineyard and cellar, avoiding unnecessary crushing and premature juice oxidation. In the cellar, they are handled minimally using a gravity-fed system that avoids pumping and no products are added to the wine.

Winemaker: Richard Kershaw MW

Varietals Produced: Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Mourvedre, Semillon


Winery Production: 8100 / 9L cases


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Vineyards: Age of the vines is 10 years-old

Vintage notes:
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 potential bunch sizes. After a cooler November, December was warm, sunny and dry enabling potential 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 between the middle and end of March.
The thicker skins held plenty of anthocyanins but meant it was crucial to avoid over extraction. Thus, gentler punch-downs were employed, and post fermentation maceration was shorter with the press fraction matured separately from the free run juice. This resulted in deeper colours with supple, pliant tannins; although acidities were softer than average, fruit concentration was high, and the wines have a lifted black fruit flavour profile.

Review:


"On the nose, the 2016 Clonal Selection Elgin Syrah is softly floral with a mineral tone and subtle hints of black fruit plus nuances of black pepper. The palate shows tremendous complexity with skillfully balanced oak tones over blackberries, fresh herbs and fresh cracked black pepper. The finish is elegantly focused and something special. Power and elegance at its finest. This is akin to something from the northern Rhône without the tight mineral grip. Well done! A truly beautiful wine. 9,300 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 93+ pts


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