Kershaw, Lake District Cartref SH22 Syrah 750ml 2016South Africa, Elgin
'The most elegant & balanced of the deconstructed syrahs, & with the most forward fruit - despite the 100% new oak, which is fully absorbed. 2016 fine acid, firm tannins, some richness of texture, density, all harmonious.' – Platter's SA Wine Guide 2019, 93/100
'The reduction might put some people off, but it’s a feature that generally dissipates in the glass with Syrah. Savoury, bright and sweetly fruited with notes of pastry and raspberry coulis and plenty of tannin lurking in the background. 2020-25' – Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2018, 92/100
'Sourced from a single parcel in the Western part of Elgin, the 22 clone produces fuller, well coloured yet finely structured wines. They tend to be more concentrated as yields are low with more black fruit, black pepper and meaty notes. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, adds gracefulness and heightens the fruit intensity.' – Winemaker
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 Nino 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 in the middle 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.
The inspiration for the Deconstructed range stems from my belief that the Elgin region boasts credentials that make it world-class. To bolster these regional credentials, I have set out to prove that Elgin has both a signature grape, as well as specific 'terroirs' / meso-climates that reflect intra-regional distinctions. To fully comprehend this, it is necessary to dig deeper into the nuances/DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make 3 Syrah wines that have been selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.
|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 | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator