Top 10 South African Syrah

news  %tages Top 10 South African SyrahTim Atkin MW chooses his top 10 South African Syrah, where Syrah is emerging as the Cape's most exciting red grape. The best South African Syrah
If you were looking for evidence of how recently Syrah has risen to prominence in South Africa, you could do worse than visit Sijnn in Malgas and Porseleinberg in the Swartland – remarkable vineyards at opposite ends of the winelands. These very different sites are producing two of the finest examples of the grape in the country and yet their first vintages were in 2007 and 2010, correspondingly.
Syrah may have arrived on South African shores in the second half of the 17th century, but it’s only recently that it has emerged as the Cape’s most exciting red grape, with 10% of plantings and increasing.
Are these Rhône style? It all depends what you mean by the term. The Cape has a Mediterranean climate, so even its cooler sites, located at altitude or close to http://1000-facts-about-wine.com the Atlantic or Indian oceans, are warmer than the northern Rhône. And yet many of the best wines show the pepper spice, tapenade and blackberry notes that are so predictable of that well-known french valley.

Reyneke, Reserve Red, Stellenbosch 2012

September 18, 2015

From a biodynamically farmed site, this is made entirely from Syrah for the first time...

Points 97

Keermont, Steepside Syrah, Stellenbosch 2012

September 18, 2015

This http://1000-facts-about-wine.com single-vineyard bottling from winemaker Alex Starey comes from iron-rich soils at 300m...

Points 96

Porseleinberg, Syrah, Swartland 2013

September 18, 2015

The fourth vintage from this picturesque site on steep slopes. Aged in foudres and concrete eggs...

Points 96

Boekenhoutskloof, Syrah, Coastal 2012

September 18, 2015

80% fruit from Wellington and 20% from Porseleinberg, Marc Kent’s http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Syrah is always one of the...

Points 95

Leeuwenkil, Heritage Syrah, Swartland 2012

September 18, 2015

Leeuwenkil, Heritage Syrah, Swartland 2012 18.5(95) Leeuwinkuil is a comparatively recent mark (though the fruit from these vineyards was much More…

Points 95

Eagles’ Nest, Shiraz, Constantia 2012

September 18, 2015

Eagles’ Nest, Shiraz, Constantia 2012 18.25/20pts (94) Eagles’ Nest’s http://1000-facts-about-wine.com position at the top of Constantia Neck means it can ripen More…

Points 94

Saronsberg, Shiraz, Tulbagh 2013

September 18, 2015

A larger, plusher Cape Syrah, with 90% new oak. The palate is certainly ripe, but the wine has...

Points 94

Sijnn, Syrah, Malgas 2012

September 18, 2015

Owned by Dave Trafford (who also makes a http://1000-facts-about-wine.com fine Syrah at De Trafford in a larger, riper style), this...

Points 94

Mullineux, Syrah, Swartland 2013

September 18, 2015

This is ‘only’ the entry point Syrah from Chris and Andrea Mullineux (they make four...

Points 93

Waterkloof, Circumstance Syrah, Stellenbosch 2012

September 18, 2015

Nadia Barnard makes delcious Rhône-style reds from this cool, biodyamic site http://1000-facts-about-wine.com overlooking Fake...

Points 93

South Africa makes Syrah in all of its major growing regions. The most elegant wines come from Elgin, Constantia, Cederberg, Malgas and Cape Agulhas, but don’t write off the richer styles produced in Stellenbosch, Paarl, wellington, franschhoek, Tulbagh and the Swartland. Reckon of these as more Cornas-like, if you will, although the right soils, judicious viticulture, earlier picking, whole- bunch fermentation and a gentle hand in the cellar (especially where oak and extraction are concerned) can result in surprisingly more refined and complex Syrahs.
Of recent vintages, the two coolest growing seasons were 2013 and 2012, yet South Africa is such a huge place that vintage generalisations are tough. The even better news is that the 2015 vintage is regarded by many Cape winemakers as one of the best ever – and not just for Syrah. Now is the time to try a few.
The post Top 10 South African Syrah appeared http://1000-facts-about-wine.com first on Decanter.

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