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Craven

2019

“Firs Vineyard”

Syrah   |   Stellenbosch - South Africa

About

Syrah is a grape that Mick and Jeanine have a soft spot for. They believe there are some really special and unique sites and plantings of Syrah. In the past they made a second Syrah from the Faure region but found the wine to lack the verve that the Firs Vineyard has. 2019 marks the first vintage for them to simply concentrate on this special site. The Firs Vineyard is owned and farmed by Deon Joubert, located in the warmest enclave of Stellenbosch that Mick pulls fruit from, Devon Valley. The soils are very rich, deep, red soil with high clay content that gives a richness to the wine but keep in mind that Mick picks quite early and there is plenty of that lovely peppery, meaty, high tones that cool-climate Syrah fans adore.

The bunches were hand-harvested and fermented entirely whole-cluster in open-top stainless-steel fermenters. The bunches were lightly foot-stomped to extract a bit of juice and then over the course of a week, gentle pumpovers were performed once or twice daily, as they want to minimize extraction and maintain as many whole bunches as possible. After a total of ten days the wine was gently pressed into old French puncheons for maturation for roughly 10 months. The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Syrah
  • Vineyard: Firs Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 19-years-old
  • Soil Type: Deep, rich, shale soil with red clay deposits
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic
  • Fermentation: Native – open-top stainless-steel (100% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 10 days
  • Aging: 10 months in neutral 500L French tonneau
  • pH: 3.79
  • Total Acidity: 4.7 g/L
  • Total SO2: 45 ppm
  • Total Production: 220 cases

Tasting Note

The subtle bouquet opens nicely with aeration; the 100% whole clusters are very discreet and allow the variety to express itself. The well-balanced palate is medium-bodied with a slightly pastille-like opening, mulberry and blueberry fruit and superbly judged acidity. Hints of green olive develop toward the composed, persistent finish. Superb.

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