Once again, the 2019 Schist Roundstone Syrah is James's favourite. One might say it's the 'Côte-Rôtie' in the stable. From their shale and schist Kasteelberg vineyard, it has backward fruit, floral perfume and is laced with hints of negroni and meat spice with a juicy and long finish. The 2019 Granite Syrah, from a sustainably-farmed, 20-plus-year-old parcel in the Paardeberg, is bright and vibrant. With savoury tapenade notes and a stony, mineral finish, it is the most linear of the three Syrahs. The 2019 Iron Syrah is from iron-rich, organically-farmed Malmesbury vineyards. While usually the most broad of the trio, the 2019 is fresher than previous vintages with lovely Northern Rhône brawn and black olive complexity. It is deeply saline with a vibrant send off.
2020 is a pure-fruited, expressive vintage. It sees the first release of the 2020 Iron Chenin Blanc – Tim Atkin's White Wine Discovery of the Year. Vibrant and shy, a hint of Burgundy-like reduction leads on to a citrus-etched palate – elegant and precise. The 2020 Granite Chenin Blanc is open with freshly cut pear, nectarine and quince. Pretty and juicy on the palate, it offers ripe, citrus verve. From a single vineyard, the 2020 Schist Roundstone Chenin Blanc is a little more backward this year. Like the others, it has citrus notes and good length and detail.
Deservedly, this is another world-class release as all 6 were rated 95 and above by Tim Atkin last week!