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Syrah   |   Swartland - South Africa


Cultellus is a derivative of the Latin word ‘culter’ meaning knife. It means a small knife or dagger, referring to the appearance of the razor blade looking schist in the vineyard. Francois has had an unbelievable run with this wine starting with the 2015 vintage. The 2018 vintage is incredibly aromatic and showcases the iron-rich, minerally schist of the Papkuilsfontein Vineyard just southeast of Malmesbury on the Kasteelberg.

The bunches were handpicked and 50% were destemmed with the rest left as whole bunches. The destemmed fruit was placed in the bottom with the whole-clusters on top in a single one-ton fermenter and fermented without any additions. Manual, daily punchdowns was done for maximum extraction. After four weeks the wine was pressed directly to a single, old 600L French barrel. After 20 months, the wine was racked off the fine lees and bottled without fining or filtration and just a hit of sulfur.


  • Grapes: 100% Syrah
  • Vineyard: Papkuilsfontein Vineyard (Malmesbury)
  • Vine Age: 19-years-old
  • Soil Type: Iron-rich schist
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless-steel (50% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 4 weeks
  • Aging: 20 months in a single, 8-year-old 600L French oak barrel
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • pH: 3.7
  • Total Acidity: 5.2 g/L
  • Total SO2: 110 ppm
  • Total Production: 75 cases
  • UPC: 6009879826012

Tasting Note

In the glass, the wine is filled with notes of cassis, blackberry, smoked meat, and lavender. The 2018 is incredibly aromatic. It transforms in the mouth to reveal plenty of underlying black pepper spice, further showcased by firm tannins and a tight structure. It is incredibly savory with a beautifully silky finish.

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