Syrah, but not Shiraz. They’re the same grape variety, but stylistically very different. Syrah is dry, smooth and savory, Shiraz is sweeter, fruitier and punchier. Francois knows a thing or two about the grape variety having made Waterford’s Kevin Arnold Shiraz and The Jem (one quarter Shiraz).
Syrah on Schist and Grenache/Carignan on Granite? Yes please! The Syrah batches are 80% destemmed and 20% whole bunch and fermented alongside destemmed Grenache and Carignan. Daily gentle punchdowns and pumpovers are employed to add structure but not too much extraction. After three weeks on skins the free run juice is then drained and the skins are pressed to eight year old 600L puncheons and is left untouched for 27 months. It is finally bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Bright red. There is uncanny energy in a light package here. Very fresh with red licorice, mint, morello cherries and an earthiness on the nose. The palate is densely packed but not heavy. Flavors of cranberry, cracked pepper and graphite-like tannins present a wine that has a character flaw as it wants so desperately to be Rhône but is deeply rooted in Swartland.
- Region: Swartland
- Varietal: 93% Syrah - 4% Grenache - 3% Carignan
- Vintage: 2012
- Vineyard: Three sites in Riebeek Kasteel (Syrah) - One site in Paardeberg (Grenache & Carignan)
- Vine Age: Average: 20 years old
- Yield: Average: 2 tons per acre
- Soil Type: Schist and Decomposed Sandstone over Loam (Syrah) - Decomposed Granite over Granite (Grenache - Carignan)
- TA: 5.6 grams per liter
- pH: 3.65
- Alcohol: 13.6%
- Skin Contact: 21 days
- Oak: 27 months in neutral 600L French cask
- Production: 265 cases
Many of the photos you see of South African vineyards – positioned in front of striking granite mountains,–are from the Stellenbosch area. It contains the most developed vineyares; it is home to an important wine University (University of Stellenbosch); and it is the center of wine tourism. In short, Stellenbosch is to South African wine much like Napa is to... Learn More »
Blackwater Wine is the brainchild of Francois Haasbroek, a man that is unequivocally part of the bright future of South African wine. Francois completed his schooling in Stellenbosch, surrounded by vineyards, mountains and food. After enrolling at Stellenbosch University and graduating with a bachelor's degree in science – viticulture and oenology, he did his first stint as a 'cellar rat' at Neil Ellis wines in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The travel bug bit and the need to see how others do what they do led to his first stop: California, where he worked at Dry Creek Vineyard in Sonoma in 2003. Learn More »
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