This Platter’s Guide 5-star red blend positions Sijnn as a pioneer of South Africa’s “final frontier,” making world class wines in an extremely isolated, intense climate at the edge of the Cape South Coast. This Syrah-dominant blend is a perfect example of South Africa’s suitability for resilient Mediterranean cultivars. Grown at the Sijnn estate in Malgas, these bushvines see very little water (about 14 inches per year), hot summer temperatures, and ferocious winds off the Indian Ocean. (Trincadeira and Touriga Nacional are no strangers to these conditions.) The estate is located just 10 miles as the crow flies from the ocean, down a long and winding 25-mile dirt road. The vineyards sit atop iron-rich red riverstone galets over blue shale, and some of the Syrah is planted on slate. The 2018 growing season was very dry and windy with very little rainfall, yet despite the rough growing conditions, these vines cope in extraordinary ways.
The grapes were handpicked and carefully sorted in the vineyards. All cultivars were destemmed and gently crushed into small open top fermentors (Syrah and Trincadeira retained about 10% whole bunches). Fermentation occurred spontaneously, with 2-3 days of pigeage or pump overs. After 10-12 days on the skins, all lots were transferred to a traditional basket press for a single pressing each, followed by racking to mostly 225L barrels. Malolactic fermentation was completed in these barrels, and after one year, the wines were blended to tank and re-racked into 700L barrels for another 9-12 months. Bottled with just a small addition of sulfur. No fining or filtering.