“I started my own brand in 2011 – five days before I passed my MW exams which was quite dandy,” says Richard Kershaw of Kershaw Wines. His mission statement? “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.”
In layman’s terms, he’s chosen to work in Elgin, South Africa’s coolest wine district, making Chardonnay from three clones CY76, CY95, and CY96 and Syrah from two clones, namely 9c and 22. “I’m not good at vagueness,” says Kershaw about his super-technical approach.
The first wine to be released is the Clonal Selection Elgin Chardonnay 2012 (R290 a bottle), which was rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2014. The wine features 40% of rich and full-bodied CY95, 30% of aromatic CY76 and 30% of elegant CY96 and was fermented and matured for 10 months in barrel, 40% new.
The wine shows lime, lemon and white peach plus a touch of oatmeal. Bright acidity, subtle oak and a pithy finish. The care in how this wine has been assembled is palpable and Kershaw definitely favours finesse over power but I suspect he will make even better wines than this in the not so distant future.