La Brune (French for The Brunette) brings Burgundy to your door. The dream to create La Brune was born when the winemaker fell in love with Pinot Noir through a close friend and Vigneron Bruno Lorenzon of Domaine Lorenzon in Mercurey (Côte Chalonnaise Burgundy).
Visits to Burgundy educated about finesse, elegance, restraint, purity, freshness, and length. This led to the creation of a wine that is built upon many small complexities to produce something truly intricate. A wine that lures you right into the glass (instead of jumping out!) and makes you dream…
The style behind La Brune Pinot Noir is exactly that. It is pure and wears no makeup. The wine is packed with complexities without being overpowering or in your face. It is austere and reserved, held together with tightness, length and freshness. It is elegant and has finesse. It reveals, instead of conceals, the bone structure of Pinot Noir grown on African soil.
La Brune Pinot Noir is all about the journey of great wine. Great wine can define a moment in one's life. Great wine carries a message, it teaches a lesson and one walks away a more fulfilled person.
La Brune 2017 is the best vintage we have produced. There is a great balance between power, intensity, elegance, perfume and purity. These types of profiles rarely come around. La Brune 2017 has a beautiful freshness on the nose. The profile has moved more to orange peel and perfume (on the nose) and moved away from being red-fruit focused. Palate wise, there are just so many layers. These include tightness, linear, chalk, minerality, fresh tannin and a layer of some white strawberries and cherries, with a hint of forest floor.
Latest Vintage & Winemaking Notes
With 2017 being the third vintage of the drought this had a significant influence on the profile of the wines. Dry conditions during the growing and ripening season sent the vines into survival mode. As a result, it was not about the fruit, but rather about pushing its roots as deep as possible into the soils. This created an intense concentration in the berries with silky tannin, high acidity and pure fruit. The profile of the wine is more perfume and orange peel on the nose with a chalky, mineral core on the palate and some red fruit on the side.
Dry conditions created extraordinary concentration, but also allowed nice early picking. PN 667 made up 90% of the blend with a 10% dash of PN 777. The profile on PN 667 is more to the perfume orange peel side with chalky, mineral notes on the palate whereas PN 777 adds the flesh to the wine with beautiful red fruit of strawberries and cherries. Due to higher concentration than usual whole bunch fermentation was increased from 30% in 2016 to 60% in 2017. This moved the profile of the wine away from red fruit to perfume and citrus notes and obviously added some fresh tannin to enhance the mineral, chalky palate. This will also enable La Brune 2017 to age really well. Twenty-four days cold soaking on both clones was applied. The tanks were kept below 5°C before fermentation. CO² was blown into the tanks twice daily to keep the tanks as fresh as possible, but also to infuse the tanks with flavour. Each day we achieved a little more colour, flavour and structure. As soon as spontaneous fermentation took over, the tanks temperature was increased from below 5°C to around 30°C to allow the natural yeast to really get going. Extraction during this period was achieved by climbing into the tanks twice daily and walking through the tanks. This is a traditional method to obtain the softest extraction without crushing the whole bunches on the bottom. Only in the last 30% of the fermentation is crushing of the whole bunches allowed. Crushing of the whole bunches allows the increase of the sugar concentration in the fermentation tank which prolongs the fermentation time and really makes the yeast work hard and suffer, which gives great character to the wine. As soon as fermentation is finished, a soft pressing was done. Wine is settled for one week in stainless steel tanks and taken to barrel. The 2017 vintage was again aged for 12 months in 300L barrels made in Mercurey exclusively for La Brune by my ‘brother’ and great French winemaker Bruno Lorenzon. All barrels are ‘untoasted’ allowing the barrel to preserve the beautiful profile of the wine. This gives the wine purity, freshness and a tight linear profile. After racking and blending of the barrels, the wine was allowed to settle naturally and was bottled without fining or filtration.
Alcohol Vol% = 12.5; Residual sugar g/l = 2.1;
Total acidity g/l = 5.7; Volatile acidity g/l = 0.65; pH = 3.53
Info/Sales: Christelle Grobler +27 (0)83 451 3326
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