Three Pines Syrah 2015-min

Varietal: 100% Syrah
Clone: Sh21A
Rootstock: Richter 110, 99
Fruit source: from own Oude Nektar vineyards in Jonkershoek
Yield: 4 tons/hectare
Total production: 3375 bottles
˚B at harvest:  24-25˚
Alcohol: 14.5%
Total Acid: 5.0
Residual sugar: 2.5
Total extract: 28.5 g/l
Age of vines: 25 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 10%  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 20 months barrel maturation.

Winemaker’s notes:

The 2015 harvest is being widely hailed as one of the best in the past 20 years. It was a drought year which resulted in fairly rich, concentrated and soft-tannin wines. On our Three Pines Syrah, we always focus on the texture — the “mouthfeel” — and the fine balance between power and elegance. It is not an “in your face” style:  it shows pretty floral notes with slight pepperiness and the palate is smooth and polished with a long elegant finish — what one critic described as “having the texture of crushed violets”.