Kershaw – Chardonnay ‘G.P.S Series’ – 2017-18

£40.63 Inc. VAT

Fresh and intense, with complex notes of orange peel, peach and grapefruit layered with lemon cream biscuits through to a long mineral finish.

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Made in tiny quantities, Richard Kershaw MW’s wines are always in high demand. Born in Sheffield, Richard trained and worked as a chef before discovering wine. After extensive travelling he settled in South Africa in 1999, and by 2009 he was Group Winemaker at Mulderbosch and Kanu. He established Kershaw Wines in 2012, specialising in the cool-climate wines of Elgin. Being one of the few MW’s to make his own wine, he uses his vast knowledge to craft stunning wines that are easily a match for some of the world’s very best wines.

2017 – 2017 experienced a cool winter enabling good vine dormancy with low rainfall. Budbreak took place in warm, sunny conditions and flowering occurred earlier than normal. Strong blustery winds resulted in an uneven berry set, and consequently produced smaller berries with good flavour concentration. An unusually cool December slowed ripening, while January rains during véraison nourished the soils encouraging grape ripening. Cooler than usual night time temperatures enabled good colour and flavour formation, retention of acidity and steady phenolic ripeness. The net result is wines with excellent natural acidity, and pure, penetrating fruit flavours.

2018 – Below-average winter rainfall resulted in drier soils and as a result the crop sizes were smaller, as less ground water was available for the tap roots. Wet, cool and windy weather during flowering meant less fruit was pollinated; Chardonnay was down to just 18 hl/ha. However, the smaller berries delivered high aromatic intensity. During the vegetative period the days were warm, but without damaging heatwaves and the growing season was cool, resulting in fruit with excellent balance.

The G.P.S. (Grape Positioning System) series is made from exciting small parcels of fruit selected from carefully chosen vineyards outside the Elgin Valley. The Chardonnay grapes come from a small parcel of vines which are grown as a single vineyard block in Lower Duivenhoks River district, in the Western Cape. The pure limestone soil is something of a rarity in the Western Cape; it is a soil in which Chardonnay flourishes and produces elegant, fresh wines. The Dijon clone CY95 vines thrive in this warm Mediterranean climate, which is tempered by the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby Duivenhoks River. The wide diurnal temperature ranges create a long hang time during which the grape cluster stays connected to its roots for longer, developing complex characteristics and achieving physiological ripeness more gradually, balanced by natural acidity.

Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings and were gently whole bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 615 litres per tonne was obtained. The juice was transferred via gravity directly to barrel, without the use of pumps. The unclarified juice underwent spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts. Malolactic conversion was discouraged, retaining a crisp style. The wine matured in Burgundian French oak for 11 months in total, of which 43.6% was new oak and 100% was aged in 228 litre barriques, before racking, blending and bottling.

A restrained mineral and fresh Chardonnay with lemon blossom and wet chalk aromas leading to a penetratingly intense palate with bright acidity balancing the rich midpalate weight. Notes of orange peel, peach and grapefruit peel are layered with lemon cream biscuits through to a long finish.

Chardonnay 100%.

South Africa

Western Cape

Lower Duivenhoks River

2018 Vintage – 90 Points, Tim Atkin MW, 2021

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