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Kershaw GPS Series Lower Duivenhoks River Chardonnay 2017



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.

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.

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.

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