Vineyards: Syrah from a 15-year-old vineyard in Firgrove planted on decomposed granite soils and a 7-year-old vineyard in Voor Paardeberg planted on granite soils. Grenache Noir from Voor Paardeberg planted on granite soils. Cinsault from a dryland farmed 25-year-old bush vines in Firgrove Stellenbosch planted on granitic soils.
The Paardeberg with its decomposed granitic soils produce wines of brutal freshness and purity with deep tannins, as well as distinctive spicy and herbal qualities. Firgrove again, ideal terroir for planting cool climate Syrah. The close proximity to the cold Atlantic Ocean ensures slow ripening. Sustained winds control the vigour resulting in an overall terroir effect of small bunches, small berries with concentrated berry flavours and full structured but ripe tannins.
Vintage 2016: The vintage was distinctively different and characterized by substantial drought conditions through the preceding winter and into the growing season. Winter started off late, but weather conditions were cold enough to break dormancy. Warm, dry conditions in Spring were extremely favourable for a compact bloom period, leading to outstanding evenness of maturity in all vineyard blocks. The hot pre-harvest weather conditions and early picking, made for a uniquely demanding vintage where adaptability was the key word.
The grapes ripened at lower sugar levels and the smaller berries resulted in good colour and intense flavour. Harvest started on the 2nd of February and concluded during the last week of February.
The severe drought conditions of the 2016 led to the smallest per-hectare crop on record, producing elegant, well-balanced wines for medium to long term ageing.
Maturation: Matured in 1st fill (10%) – 4th fill 300 li and 500 li French oak barrels for 12 months.
The blend: The Voor Paardeberg and Stellenbosch terroir matched perfectly with the 3 varieties to showcase the remarkable fruit intensity, freshness and elegance of the distinctive varietals. Syrah adds the fresh red berry fruit, spices and structure, the Grenache Noir lends fresh fruit, elegance and structure while Cinsault contributes brighter fruit, acidity and freshness.
Tasting note: This impressive red blend of 53 % Syrah, 28 % Grenache Noir and 19 % Cinsault showcases the remarkable fruit intensity, freshness and elegance of these distinctive varietals. The nose is alluringly perfumed, showing vibrant aromatics of red cherries, cassis, liquorice, pepper spice and black olives. Multi-dimensional and multi-layered, the palate delivers a textured mouthfeel and silky-smooth finish.
Alc: 14.24 %
RS: 2.5 g/l