2005 Pierneef Syrah Viognier
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The wine is a blend of 91% Shiraz and 9% Viognier. The Shiraz component is from Darling (50%), Stellenbosch (30%) and Swartland (20%), while the Viognier originates from a vineyard in the Franschhoek region. The Shiraz blocks that had ripened earlier were selected to coincide with the Viognier, normally an early ripener. This made it possible to ferment the two varietals together.
Conditions before the harvesting season were drier than the average over the long term. Winter was late, but cold. Budding was even and was promoted by warmth during spring. Thunder storms with nitrogen deposits caused lush growth and a substantial removal of foliage was needed. Conditions during ripening were hot, but bunches and varietal flavours were protected by more luscious leaf cover. Harvesting started two weeks earlier than normal.
Each vineyard grows in its own macro climate and different clones are represented. All the vineyards are trellised and are managed to be perfectly in balance regarding leaf cover and yield. Thanks to the different terroirs, each area produces grapes with specifi c characteristics, allowing the wines from each area to make a unique contribution in flavour and structure. The yield of the Shiraz was limited to below 8 tons per hectare, while the Viognier vineyard was young and yielded less than 4 tons per hectare.
The two varietals were harvested together and fermented together. Bunches and berries were hand-selected before being placed into the tank. The wine was pumped over regularly and fermented at 25 degrees Celsius. After fermentation the wine macerated on the skins for another three weeks. Malolactic fermentation and maturation took place in 225-litre French oak barrels, 50% of which were new. The wine was matured for 15 months before being bottled at La Motte in July 2006.
The Viognier lends an exceptional gentleness to the blend. The palate is elegant and friendly, with mediumfull peach and cherry flavours. Tannins are refreshing and the wine has a very smooth finish.
Alcohol 13,8% vol
Residual sugar 2,37 g/l
Total acid 5,71 g/l