Kershaw, Clonal Selection Elgin Syrah 750ml 2016South Africa, Elgin
Richard Kershaw Wines was established in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, South Africa’s coolest wine region.
Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, the Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.
The Elgin Valley benefits from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, similar to Southern Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, which enables the germane grapes, Chardonnay and Syrah, to show a sense of place.
In 2016, the preceding winter was fairly dry but cold units were exceptional (1200) with plenty of frosty mornings, allowing the vines to go into a proper dormancy. Rain did finally fall in August and September but as October began, the effect of the El Niño phenomenon (or ENSO episode) started to take effect. October was unusually warm accelerating budbreak and flowering. The fluctuating warm and cool days meant flowering was uneven, giving rise to smaller potential bunch sizes. After a cooler November, December was warm, sunny and dry enabling potential diseases to be kept at bay. A hot and dry January, meant acidity retention by the vine was challenging but after a warm start to February, the weather finally became cooler - and night time temperatures also dipped more so than average - providing the vine with some respite after a particularly torrid summer. The drier conditions meant that disease pressure was minimal, and a healthy crop was picked between the middle and end of March. The thicker skins held plenty of anthocyanins but meant it was crucial to avoid over extraction. Thus, gentler punch-downs were employed, and post fermentation maceration was shorter with the press fraction matured separately from the free run juice. This resulted in deeper colours with supple, pliant tannins; although acidities were softer than average, fruit concentration was high, and the wines have a lifted black fruit flavour profile.
Subtle, precise style built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness with flavors of black skinned fruit, iodine and ground white peppercorns.
|Drink To||Drink or cellar|
|Variety||Shiraz / Syrah|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | TA: Tim Atkin MW | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WS: Wine Spectator