La Brune Pinot Noir & Chardonnay 2023: Wines of Imagination

La Brune Pinot Noir & Chardonnay 2023

Wines of Imagination

Nico Grobler is destined to make some of the greatest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in South Africa. A true artist, his wines get better with each release, expressing his vision with greater personality, nuance and power. His third release is particularly exciting – it's an honest representation of the challenging 2023 vintage. It comprises the layered and cashmere-coated La Brune Chardonnay 2023 and the intriguing and characterful La Brune Pinot Noir 2023.

The La Brune Chardonnay 2023 brings to the fore Nico's belief that Chardonnay is the greatest white grape. The variety isn't about aromatics and obvious fruit, but about the multi-layered complexity that we see in the 2023 release. Delicious and deeply satisfying with crystalline fruit purity, give it a year to settle.

The La Brune Pinot Noir 2023 is a personality all on its own and will bring great pleasure to wine lovers. It shows off the scars of a difficult vintage, resulting in a wonderfully clear expression of the vineyard. Lifted aromatics continue to evolve in the glass, dancing over a chalky, precise and structured palate.

Both wines remain super limited.

The La Brune Chardonnay is 50% destemmed and 50% whole-bunch pressed, allowing natural fermentation, and raised for 12 months in 228-litre 'untoasted' barrels'. The wine sees 30% new oak, the rest second and third fill. The 2023 vintage was produced from two vineyards in Elgin and is a blend of clones CY95 (60%) and CY548 (40%).

The La Brune Pinot Noir is from a 10 000-vine-per-hectare single vineyard planted to five different clones. 2023 is a blend of 50% PN115, 35% PN113 and a dash of PN459, and the soil is ferricrete with a bit of clay. There is 80% whole bunch – up significantly from previous vintages to add tannic grip. 'This is the vintage where I learned so much – a game changer,' says Nico, commenting that is was the most challenging since he started making wine in 2005. The wine spends 12 months in 228-litre 'untoasted' barrels. As with the Chardonnay, the oak is from the Pierre du Bourgogne forest and barrels are custom made for La Brune.

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