2017 Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay
RANGE: Clonal Selection
VARIETAL INFORMATION: 100% Chardonnay made from Dijon clones
CY96, CY95, CY76 and the Entav clone CY548.
WINE OF ORIGIN: Elgin, Western Cape, South Africa
TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 19.7 tons selected from 9 small
parcels of Chardonnay.
HISTORY: In 2012, owner Richard Kershaw MW, established Richard Kershaw Wines to create
clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wine paradigms from apposite noble grapes i.e. ones
with the ability to produce world-class examples. SA’s coolest wine district, Elgin Valley, reflected
these principles benefitting from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing,
high cold units and a large diurnal range, enabling the germane grapes, Chardonnay, Syrah and
more recently Pinot Noir, to show a sense of place.
VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 22nd February – 13th March 2017
Brix at Harvest: 21.60 – 24.20
SEASON: Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall
was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal
warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery
winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven
leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration
of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest an unusually cool December slowed
down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils
and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage
& root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in late February through to
mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent
natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense
WINEMAKING: Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings,
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.
BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected,
all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 38% of the oak was
new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, both 228 and 500
litres in size, with 10% left to ferment and mature in breathable eggs.
ALCOHOL: 13.50% For more information see extended technical sheet
available on www.richardkershawwines.co.za
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 15300 750ml bottles and 70 magnums.
TASTING PROFILE: Restrained, mineral style focussed on elegance with a
white fruit character, some oatmeal and some complexity gained from
percipient applied wood.
Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay
2017 Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay