Stellenbosch Syrah

Coastal Region,South Africa,
  • Greg Sherwood: 94


Bottle size: 750 ml,

In stock

Stark-Condé are named in the ‘First Growth’ category of Tim Atkin’s special report on South Africa whilst winemaker Rudger van Wyk was named Young Winemaker of the Year. They’re very much an estate on the rise.

This is their estate blend of Syrah. It is primarily from what they call Block 1, which is full of fist-size river stones; it is surprising that anything can grow. The dense, structured fruit from that vineyard is complemented by two other vineyard blocks. They added about 5% whole bunch to the ferments. About 50% was done with natural yeasts. All the wine was aged in small French oak for 20 months, 20% new. A fine, elegant style of Syrah.

Category: SKU: 86e78499eeb3-1
In The Cellar
The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested in late-February and cooled overnight to 14 degrees C., before being carefully hand-sorted and crushed into small open fermentation vats. The must was cold-soaked for a couple of days before being inoculated with a mix of domestic and imported Rhône yeasts. About 10% of the wine was whole-bunch fermented with its stems. From the 2014 vintage onwards we started to introduce a small amount of co-fermented Viognier and Roussanne. Although co-fermenting Roussanne is not very typical, it is allowed in Hermitage and adds a finely textured tannin. Regular, vigorous punchdowns were given every 4 hours for the first half of fermentation, then every 8 hours thereafter. At dryness (average 7-10 days), it was basket pressed and racked directly to barrel for malo-lactic fermentation and subsequent barrel maturation.

In The Vineyard
This is a blend from 3 different vineyard blocks at different elevations on our Jonkershoek Valley farm. The higher elevation vineyards have a finely textured decomposed granite soil and tend to produce a more elegant wine with softer tannins, while the lower vineyard is very rocky and gives a denser, fruitier, more tannic wine.
"This impressive estate Syrah is primarily a blend of fruit from what is known as Block 1 on the estate, which is covered in tennis ball sized river stones over textured decomposed granitic soils and has around 5% of whole bunch Syrah added into the ferment before the wine is aged for 20 months in 20% new French oak barrels. On the aromatics the savoury, peppery, charcuterie character of the wine is further accentuated by the vineyard’s rocky soils, followed by notes of stewed black currants, cured meats, well hung game and a dusty, crushed granite and graphite minerality. On the palate there is plenty of overt power and structure, but it is beautifully choreographed by the winemaker to convey a sense of elegance and harmony with suave mineral tannins and a soft, understated nectarine-tinged citric acidity. On first pulling the cork, this wine displays initial shades of new world Shiraz, but as it opens its shoulders further, a wonderful Northern Rhone complexity takes over the reins to leave a notably old-world impression on the finish." (94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)