Elgin Vintners releases first single cultivar Semillon

MIRRA Semillon 2021 reflects passion, admiration, creative freedom

A long-standing love affair with the versatile Semillon grape has come to fruition for Elgin Vintners winemaker and business manager Dr Marinda Kruger with the release of her personal passion project – MIRRA Semillon 2021.

While she first fell in love with Semillon when working with 50-year-old bush vines in the Swartland some years ago, it is from a much younger, single vineyard in the cool-climate Elgin Valley that Marinda has created her singular expression of Semillon.

As a winemaker, Marinda sees herself as part scientist, part artist and derives her passion for winemaking from her scientific curiosity along with creative inspiration from nature – aspects which came together in the crafting of the small batch of only 900 bottles of MIRRA 2021 to be released.

Having been at the helm of Elgin Vintners wine-growing and -making since the 2019 harvest, Marinda said she had developed her understanding of the farm’s terroir, enabling her to now “let the brakes off a bit, be more creative and experiment”.

The best of the single vineyard Semillon, in terms of mouthfeel and development potential, was selected for the maiden vintage of MIRRA, part undergoing natural fermentation on the skins in a clay amphora and part in a single French oak barrel. Blending took place after nine months, with the wooded component broadening the palate of the linear Semillon, Marinda said.

The name MIRRA is both an affectionate diminutive of Marinda’s given name and derived from Latin, meaning admirable, peaceful, wonderful.

“The name captures my admiration for nature and what it gives us to create with, and the peace and creative inspiration that I find in nature,” she said.

The first single cultivar Semillon from the Elgin Vintners vineyards, and one of only a handful from the Elgin region, MIRRA 2021 is silky-textured with complex layers of aroma and flavour – preserved lemon and pears to the fore, underpinned by fresh minerality.

Already complex and intriguing, the wine will age gracefully into full maturity over the next five to 10 years.

MIRRA 2021 is available exclusively from the Elgin Vintners tasting room and online at www.elginvintners.co.za at R400 per bottle.