Collection: Exclusive South African Helderberg Mountain 'IKOYI'

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Our latest collaboration with Jonathan Maltus has taken us to South Africa and Stellenbosch’s renowned Helderberg region.

May we introduce IKOYI, named for the district in Lagos, Nigeria where Jonathan was born… Focussing on a favourite variety of ours, Cabernet Franc, we were keen to work with Jonathan Maltus OBE, one of the original Saint Emilion garagistes, whose pioneering Le Dôme remains the largest expression of the variety (80% of the blend) in Bordeaux. Jonathan has teamed up with Louis Strydom, former chair of the Cape Winemakers Guild and longstanding winemaker at Ernie Els award-winning winery, who sourced the best quality, sustainably-farmed grapes from vines planted in 2010 on the northern slopes of the vaunted Helderberg region in Stellenbosch. The nearby False Bay coastline ensures cool, often breezy weather, which extends the ripening period, enabling better structure and complexity. The soils on this site comprises deep red earth with 30% clay and granite.

We also requested they craft a top-notch Chenin Blanc, preferably from older vines, as the best examples of this signature white from South Africa has rare appeal to both lovers of white Burgundy and Sauvignon Blanc. Ours comes from a site 300m above sea-level, also from the northern slopes of the Helderberg, largely based on decomposed granite soil. Planted in 1988 the 35-year old vines are very low-yielding (around 30 hl/ha) and the vineyard lies in the “Golden Triangle” of Stellenbosch, close to Haskell Vineyards, Alto and Rust en Vrede.

Both wines speak perfectly of their terroir and offer world-class quality at exceptionally attractive prices – a project we are delighted to be able to bring to our Club Members.

We are also absolutely delighted to have partnered with the fantastic mothers2mothers charity. Mothers2mothers train and employ local women living with HIV as community health workers to meet the growing and urgent health needs of women, children and families in ten African countries. Their work is incredibly important and we will be donating 10% of the profits of all sales of IKOYI and to support the charity. The money raised will fund the training of six Mentor Mothers, creating a ripple effect of economic, social and health impacts for each of these phenomenal women, and their communities. For more information about our partner charity or if you’d like to make an additional donation, please let us know and we will introduce you directly to their brilliant team.

So, what is IKOYI?

“To claim South Africa is currently a “bargain” is an understatement and irrespective of your view, numerical scores are a useful tool, if only to ram home the point that they rank amongst the top tier.”
“How often do I find myself staring in disbelief at retail prices that are the same as Bordeaux or Burgundy but with the decimal point in a more wallet-friendly position, despite quality equivalent or even superior.”
“..the next chapter will certainly be overflowing with world-class wines.”
Neal Martin, Vinous 2022

2022 IKOYI Helderberg Red

The immediacy, and aromatic brightness and freshness is uplifting, like a cool breeze wafting past scented with damsons, new leather and Christmas spices. Notes of smoked paprika, lavender, plum skin, boysenberry and nori are teased out latterly, and the oak is already well integrated. Such a sophisticated, positively aristocratic nose, it does not immediately shout South Africa and perhaps shows Jonathan’s “Old World wines in the New World approach”. The palate is similarly lively on the attack with a mid-palate succulence built around ripe black cherries, vanilla pod, cacao nibs and cherry tobacco, but the high-toned cedary, herbal tannins, and a brisk vein of lithe and spicy acidity ensure both length and precision. Jonathan deliberately chose a leaner, more focussed Cabernet Franc on which to base the blend which is nicely rounded out by 20% plumper, darker Syrah fruit. This should age with commendable grace and style over the next few years.

“Wine lovers are in for a treat when buying wines from the 2022 vintage”
“We’re really seeing striking colour and flavour extraction from grapes in the cellar, thanks to a cooler season that slowed down ripening and provided the opportunity for these components to develop optimally.”
Conrad Shutte, Vinpro

2023 IKOYI Helderberg White

Tried En Primeur (still cloudy), this shows tremendous promise. The combination on the nose of exoticism (beeswax, macadamia nuts, yuzu, yellow plums) and vigour (grapefruit peel, fresh ginger, wet stones, sea breeze, apple blossom, pine) is very appealing. The palate is still knitting together but also has a good balance of zestiness and slightly richer nuances. Juicy citrus and white stone fruit convert to waxed pears, toasted pine nuts and salted caramel, but always pulled along by tongue-tingling acids. The passage in oak has given the wine broader shoulders but done nothing to stunt the tension and purity.

“Wine lovers from all over the world can look forward to excellent wines from a much cooler and smaller 2023 wine grape season in South Africa.”
Conrad Shutte, Vinpro

Estimated delivery in September, 2024.