#258 La Brune Valley Pinot Noir 2022
VIDEO CHAPTER INDEX:
00:20 – UNDERSTANDING THE ELGIN WINE DISTRICT
00:45 – AN INTRODUCTION TO LA BRUNE WINEMAKING TEAM
01:15 – FROM WHENCE HAILS THE FRUIT FOR THE VALLEY PINOT NOIR?
01:55 – WHAT IS THE WINCKLER INDEX? AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ELGIN?
03:15 – WHAT IS THE “BEST” WINCKLER ZONE?
03:35 – AFTER ALL THAT, IS WINCKLER EVEN RELEVANT?
04:18 – WHAT DOES THE VALLEY PINOT NOIR TASTE LIKE?
05:06 – ASK HAN SOME QUESTIONS…!
The twin brands of La Brune and The Valley were founded by viticulturist Nico Grobler and his wife Christelle,
who are both heavily influenced by the French wines of Burgundy. So naturally, the two of them spazz out on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Which in turn makes it unsurpring that they would set their sites on the vineyards of the mountain valley of Elgin.
The Valley Pinot Noir is Groibler’s effort to express a sort of amalgamted “Elgin-ness through the medium of Pinot. The fruit for thw ein was sourced from various vineyards dotted across the valley, including a site that the La Brune team declare to be the densest planted Pinot vineyard in South Africa.
At some point we’ll produce a video that discusses the relevance of vineyard density and soil quality to final wine quality…but until then it’s best to simply treat that “Densest Vineyard” accolade as a sort of desirable-albeit-undefined badge of merit.
👃🏼 A delightfully pretty wine. The nose carries pink musk elements, strawberry fruit chews, red cherry fruit and raspberry candy, an ever so subtle touch of cedar wood spice…and subtle, but gloriously complicating, a hint of wet leaves.
👄 The palate is a lovely mix of those fresh red raspberry elements, but then the cherry fruit takes on an impressivey texture nature, as though one were chewing on fresh cherries fruit, and if you thought the raspberry acidity upfront was lovely, it’s joined by a delightfully clear cut tangerine element, which is not at all common.
🔬 100% Pinot Noir. The vines are all younger than 12 years, with a planting density ranging from 400 vines per hectare, all the way up to 10,000 vines per hectare. Clones are PN113, 115, 777, 667 & 459. Yields are between 6 and 10 tonnes.
Wine was cold soaked for 10 days before fermentation. 30% (an increase from 2021) of the grapes were left as whole bunches, and fermentation took place in open-top fermenters. Fermentation temperatures were between 28 – 32 degrees Celsius, and the final wine was settled for a further week before it was transferred to barrels. The wine spent 10 months in a combination of 228, 300 and 500 litres untoasted barrels.
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