Kershaw Wines GPS Klein River Syrah 2016
During the year, Richard takes the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of the Elgin region and occasionally he encounters fascinating plots that deserve a closer look. Almost 20 years ago, the first Syrah vines were planted in what is now one of the smallest wine wards in South Africa, Klein River. Traditionally used for sheep and wheat, 3 ha of virgin shale-derived Glenrosa soil was set aside for Syrah. These soils are normally the hallmark of warmer areas, but these vines nestle up against the Klein River Mountain range. The nearby Akkedis Valley provides a portal through which the cool sea breezes from the nearby Walker Bay penetrate, creating a mild meso-climate in summer. Wines made from these vines have consistently won acclaim and awards so Richard did not have to think twice when the opportunity to make wine from these 20-year-old vines came his way. The GPS series celebrates exemplary parcels of vines from outside the Elgin region and this wine is a testament to these special places.
Grapes were handpicked and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The de-stemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a short maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 19 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulphuring and 16-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.
Restrained, yet with intent and subtle power, these vineyards exhibit high levels of 'rotundone' producing piercing black pepper, powdery tannins complete with rich textures and prodigious breadth of black-orientated fruit. The 2016 vintage hows a mid-ruby colour, a nose heady with aromas of black pepper, cinnamon stick, star anise and black cherry panna cotta. Succulent in texture, this medium bodied Syrah is voluminous with a core of juicy Morello cherries, liquorice and molasses complexed with gorse bush, baked plums, bay leaf and Angostura Bitters underpinned with fine grippy tannins and a long lush finish.
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