The second release of Syrah builds on the 2017 but with a bit more charm and delineation. The DeBos Vineyard is again the source and lies just on the north side of the dam for which it is named at the base of the Babylonstoren Mountains. The small block that makes this wine is a south/southwest facing slope at roughly 400-550 feet in elevation with the vines planted between fields of fynbos and in very close proximity to the sea. The Syrah block sits just below the Chardonnay block and has more of a sandy, granitic soil with rocky outcrops of pure granite. 2018 marked the ‘end of the drought vintages’ and while the growing season wasn’t as extreme as the two previous vintages, the yields were very small and a larger percentage of whole-clusters were used with this vintage.
The three clones were selected based on stem ripeness, fruit quality and bunch size. The grapes were hand harvested on March 14th and wild yeast fermented in open top stainless steel tanks with roughly a quarter of the bunches left intact. The rest of the grapes were destemmed but not crushed and placed on top. Occasional foot stomping and a few light pumpovers got the fermentation going and after two weeks the wine went dry. The wine stayed on skins for an additional week prior to being basket pressed to older French barriques and tonneau. The wine was coarse filtered at bottling and hit with a small addition of sulfur.