Iona Elgin Highlands Pinot Noir 2021


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Additional information


South Africa




100% Pinot Noir




93 Points, Tim Atkin MW, Special Report South Africa 2023

Good to know

Organic & Biodynamic practices, Vegan

Tasting Notes

Iona Pinot Noir has a beautiful ruby colour. Its aromas immediately remind you of a fine Burgundy, with refined aromas of succulent black cherries and fresh strawberries coupled with hints of forest floor and orange peel. What is striking about Iona Pinot Noir are its sublime flavours of strawberry and red cherry fruit and its poised, silky texture.  it is beguiling and full of flavour but also delicate at the same time with a lovely, savoury long finish. Iona Pinot Noir has wonderful mouth-feel, harmonious balance of fruit and silky tannins; all in all, a seamless, delicious Pinot Noir. In style terms it is closest to Volnay and Chambolle Musigny Burgundy styles. For the price of a bottle of everyday wine in a restaurant you can enjoy a top-notch Pinot Noir at home!

The Pinot grapes for this wine come from older vines across four sites in the Iona Vineyards. The grapes are hand harvested and were berry selected on a sorting table, de-stemmed and gently crushed. The must was fermented in stainless steel tanks at 28°C, with regular punch downs during the fermentation. After malolactic fermentation, the wine matures for 12-14 months in 300 litre French oak barrels with 25% new oak. (the rest 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill). Maturation in oak was for 12 months, on the lees for the full period. After ageing for 12 months in barrel, the wines are racked and blended. The wines were clarified naturally for a period of 2 months before bottling. You can see reviews of these wines below.

About the winery

Andrew and Rosy Gunn’s vineyards are located in the Highlands of Elgin to the South East of Cape Town. They are situated on a mountain plateau at 420 metres surrounded by the Kogelburg Nature Reserve where the prevailing winds off the cold Atlantic ocean, account for the refined nature and layered nuances of their Pinot Noir. The grapes ripen slowly here, often some 2 months later than other Cape vineyards. Winemaker, Werner Muller is one of the most highly respected winemakers in South Africa and Iona wine range continues to go from strength to strength. Although not certified Iona use organic and biodynamic practices in everything they do, from the cattle that graze on a part of the farm and provide manure to the geese and other birds who are kept in the estate to keep vineyard pests at bay.

You can find out more and see the photos of the beautiful Iona Estate in our News & Views Page.

Sells in Independent Wine Merchants £24 – £29 – check out our competitive price


2021 Vintage

“Three different parcels on the farm – Kloof, Kroon and Beerskamp – supply the grapes for the Gunns’ stylish Pinot Noir, produced with the 115, 667 and 777 clones. Juicy, perfumed and deftly poised, it has a winning combination of texture, freshness, bramble, raspberry and red cherry fruit and subtle, scented oak spices. 93 Points: Drink 2024-29.”  Tim Atkin MW Special South Africa Report 2023

2019 Vintage

“Impressive at this price, this scented, well-defined Pinot Noir comes from three different blocks on the farm and shows an engaging combination of rose petal, violet and patisserie aromas, focussed red cherry and redcurrant fruit and elegant 25% new wood.  92 Points; Drink 2021 – 26”: Tim Atkin MW Special South Africa Report 2021

2018 Vintage

“Rich expressive aromatics rise out the glass with bold notes of stewed strawberries, winter black berry compote, savoury plums with a meaty, earthy edge. The palate is attractively rich, textured and dark fruited with an equal measure of earthy savoury spice and mixed red and black berry creamy elegance. Impressively complex, well-balanced and basically a wine crying out for a seductive food and wine matching.”  92 Points Greg Sherwood MW: May 2022

2017 Vintage

“Werner Muller uses grapes from four sites to make this stylish, partially whole bunch Pinot Noir. Aromatic and focused, it has red cherry and pomegranate fruit and well handled 25% new oak.  91 Points: Drink 2020 – 2024”: Tim Atkin Special Report South Africa 2019

“Incredibly smart nose, with the earth, bracken, rose petal and compost of proper maturing Pinot. Still bright with cranberry and raspberry fruit. Supple tannin, whistle-clean and with lovely savoury nuance on the finish – excellent clarity and delicacy. 17.5/20 Points”, Jancis Robinson MW; Purple Pages (2015 vintage)

The story behind Iona

There is an interesting story behind Iona which was established as a vineyard and winery in 1998/99 in the beautiful highlands of Elgin. You can find out more and see for yourself the beauty and story behind Iona in our short blogpost, Iona – World class wines from cool climate south Africa.

In early 1997, Andrew Gunn, an engineer by training was contemplating his next career move. Having always loved the outdoors, the prospect of farming appealed to him and feeling young and energetic enough to start a new career, left the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg to begin the search for the ‘perfect’ farm.

After months of searching and 40 farm visits later, Andrew and a very tired estate agent stumbled upon a solitary run down apple farm on a mountain top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The prospect of a suitable farm in Elgin intrigued Andrew and on driving through the valley, he became excited by the beauty of the area. Surrounded by the Kogelberg Biosphere and Forestry the property had no agricultural neighbours. The rolling hills and the drive up the mountain to where the farm was situated, 420 meters above sea level, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, was unlike anything he had ever seen. It was love at first sight.

Andrew decided to name the “farm” and winery as “Iona”, after the island off the West Coast of Scotland, where Andrew’s ancestors hail from; it has become one of South Africa’s top producers.

Food Match: Perfect with Duck and Game, but it is also brilliant with Pork, Mushroom Risotto and stronger flavoured vegetarian dishes.

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