Three Pines Syrah 2012

Varietal: 100% Syrah
Clone: Sh21A
Rootstock: Richter 110, 99
Fruit source: from own Oude Nektar vineyards in Jonkershoek
Yield: 4.5 tons/hectare
Total production: 2970 bottles
˚B at harvest: 24-25˚
Alcohol: 14.5%
Total Acid: 5.9
Residual sugar: 2.0
pH: 3.95
Total extract: 32.0 g/l
Age of vines: 22 years at harvest
Trellis: 5-wire vsp
Irrigation: supplemental drip irrigation
Vineyard elevation: 300-310m
Slope: South Westerly

Details of vinification and oaking:

This is a single-vineyard wine from our highest elevation syrah vineyard, a small block contiguous to our single-vineyard cabernet. The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested in late-February. After being cooled overnight to 14 degrees C., they were carefully hand-sorted and crushed into small open fermentation vats and allowed to cold-soak for several days. A small portion was left whole bunch and also uncrushed. About 50% of the blend was natural fermentation and the balance was split between a domestic yeast and an imported Rhône yeast. Regular, vigorous punchdowns were given every 4-6 hours for the first half of fermentation, then every 6-8 hours thereafter. At dryness (average 8-9 days), the wine was basket pressed and racked directly to barrel for malo-lactic fermentation and subsequent barrel maturation. A mix of coopers was used, all French oak, all 300 litre, mostly second-fill and about 40% new. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 22 months barrel maturation.

Winemaker’s note:

Ripe plum and blackberry with violet notes typical of this vineyard. The palate is polished and elegant with a finely-textured mouthfeel that one critic described as having the texture of “crushed violets”. 2012 is an excellent vintage with a tightness of structure that should benefit from careful maturation.