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Tembela Wines

2021

Syrah

Western Cape - South Africa

About

Banele has been producing Syrah under his Tembela label now for two years. In 2021, he sourced his grapes from two sites, one in the Swartland, and one closer to home in Constantia. The Swartland brings that punch of fruit flavors, and Constantia, being much cooler, brings nice aromatics and acidity. As for the watercolor label, Banele wanted a simple painting that commemorated his mother, not just by her name, but by her image. Tembela is in the foreground with a basket on her head, and after much back and forth with the artist, Banele decided to add a second woman in the background to symbolize connections to community and place.

The grapes were harvested on separate days and brought back to the Savage Wines cellar where Banele vinifies his wines in Salt River. After de-stemming, about 30-40% stems were added back in according to their smell, aiming for black pepper but not too much astringency, before spontaneous fermentation began. About two punchdowns per day were made during fermentation, and when that was finished, the wine was transferred to an old 500L barrel and left to mature for 10 months. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration and just a touch (26 ppm) of sulfur.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Syrah
  • Vineyard: Swartland and Constantia
  • Vine Age: 10-20-years-old
  • Soil Type: Decomposed granite (Swartland) - sandy soils (Constantia)
  • Viticulture: Sustainable
  • Fermentation: Native — open-top plastic fermenter (100% de-stemmed with 30-40% stems added back)
  • Skin Contact: 2 weeks
  • Aging: 10 months in 500L neutral barrels
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • pH: 3.66
  • Total Acidity: 5.3 g/L
  • Total SO2: 26 ppm
  • Total Production: 50 cases
  • UPC: None

Tasting Notes

On the nose, there are beautiful aromatics of black fruits, black pepper, lavender, and fynbos. The medium-bodied palate opens up to clean acidity and fine-grained tannins; the texture is rich yet smooth and will continue to show nicely over time.

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