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An exploration of the Elgin Valley with Idun Wines

As soon as the Idun wines landed in the warehouse a couple of weeks back I was interested.

The presentation is classy across the range. Elgin has such a great reputation for producing quality wines - we love the Iona range from there. South Africa in general seems to be on a hot streak recently, with the quality increasing and interesting projects coming to our attention. Nic, our Buyer, tasted these wines down at a recent wine fair in London and knew we needed to bring them in. 

The name Idun comes from the Nordic goddess of eternal life and fertility which is the inspiration for Albert & Joanne Rousset in their winemaking journey. Their goal is to showcase the wonderful coastal terroir of Elgin and and the potential for quality, age worthy wines produced in the region. 

The playfulness of their social media channel is a great indicator about the people behind these wines. They're here to have fun, enjoy themselves and create wines that are approachable and enjoyable too. See for yourself here.

Idun, Crepuscule

Elgin is one of the coolest wine growing regions in South Africa, benefiting from the coastal breeze of the Atlantic ocean. This allows for the perfect ripening conditions for the notoriously difficult to grow Pinot Noir.

Crepuscule means 'twilight', which perfectly captures the essence of this wine. With a delicate freshness, light red fruits and a hint of cola, this is drinking beautifully now. 11 months ageing in French oak barrels and the process of malolactic fermentation means there's a lovely, smooth texture. There's also enough tannins and structure to suggest this will age well in the cellar and start to develop some of those deep savoury characteristics Pinot Noir is renowned for as it matures.

Idun, Choregraphie

This Bordeaux style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec comes from 3 different vineyards all around 300m above sea level. This altitude and the coastal breeze allows for a long ripening season before hand picking and careful selection means only the best grapes make it into the wine.

Aged for around 17 months in French oak (around 30% of which is new) adds structure and complexity whilst allowing the three varieties to settle and marry together.

There's a hit of vanilla from that new oak but it's nicely balanced with the juicy dark plums, rich fruit cake and a touch of cigar box smoke. This is a serious bit of kit which can easily be lain down for up to 10 years and will keep developing into those earthy, leathery, complex flavours. 

Idun, Nuit Etternelle

100% Syrah from vineyards planted on iron rich, clay soils which help to give low yields and dense fruit concentration to the wine. A portion of the grapes were fermented as whole bunches with their stems which adds a rustic touch to the tannins. This wine has been aged in French oak for around 16 months, a little longer than usual due to the covid pandemic, but this hasn't done the wine any harm at all. Full of savoury black olives and peppery spice, there's still ripe black cherry fruit and elegant tannins. A great representation of South African Syrah.

You can find the full range of wines from Idun here.

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