Iona, Pinot Noir, 2017, Elgin, South Africa
The Wine Society - £19.00
Tasting date - 30/12/2018
Appearance - Pale ruby
Nose intensity - Medium plus
Primary aroma - Raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, redcurrant, bramble and a slight leafy note
Secondary aroma - Hints of smoke, charcoal, clove and slightly toasty
Tertiary aroma - None
Sweetness - Dry
Acidity - High
Tannin and nature - Low and soft (almost none!)
Alcohol - Medium plus
Body - Medium minus
Intensity - Medium plus
Primary flavours - Raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, redcurrant, bramble and a slight leafy note
Secondary flavours - Hints of smoke, charcoal, clove and slightly toasty
Tertiary flavours - None
Finish - Medium plus
Quality - Very Good
Blind Tasting Logic
If tasting this wine blind you should have tried to think about the grape variety or varietal mix; the incredibly pale colour should put you straight to Grenache or Pinot Noir, the red fruit dominated nose and palate should also agree with these varieties, the low level of tannin is also consistent. The alcohol content of this wine (13,5%) may push you more towards Grenache however the acidity and body should push this towards Pinot Noir. In terms the wine it is incredibly lean and fresh and not something you would normally expect with Grenache.
If you are the sort who wants to compare to Burgundy then the wine shows itself for like a Marsannay or a Fixin in style, there is only really the alcohol that would tear you away from this part of the Cote de Nuits in my opinion, the wine itself really is ‘lean rather than mean’, however please don’t mistake the acidity on the finish or the palate for intensity of flavour, it would be easy to overestimate these sections of the SAT.
Conversely it is also easy to underestimate this wine and call it ‘simple’ which would be a mistake, although we are not seeing any tertiary aromas so far there is sufficient intensity of primary fruit flavour for this wine to develop over time, the development will create complexity which is somewhat lacking at this young age.
The winemaking is delicate and restrained and they have not done a heavy extraction to retain the purity of the flavours, they also haven’t decided to throw lots of new oak at the wine. In order to understand the wines full complexity potential you need to think how this wine will evolve; think about how this wine will drink on its ‘best drinking day’, when it has developed its full complexity.
The potential complexity forms part of the argument as to why it is placed in the Very Good category, varietal definition also bolsters your argument, the only real reason to not promote to Outstanding is that there is not sufficient intensity on the palate or length, almost but not quite!