2013 Pierneef Syrah Viognier
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This wine is a blend of 90% Shiraz and 10% Viognier. The Shiraz component is from Walker Bay (65%) and Elim (35%) while the Viognier (10%) originates from Franschhoek.
The season started with a good winter, with high water levels in the soil and in dams. This resulted in good budding, approximately two weeks later than normal. In some areas, wind caused damage during November. The highest average December temperature in 48 years was recorded — no serious damage was caused, though. Closer to harvest- time, night temperatures were noticeably lower which probably contributed to high natural acids, promoting quality. On 9 February harvesting was interrupted by rain, but without serious effects. Wines are full-bodied, with good intensity and high natural acids.
The Elim vineyards grow in duplex soils with a high content of ferrocrete (coffee stone), the Walker Bay vineyards in shallow shale and the Franschhoek vineyards (Viognier) in deep sandy decomposed sandstone and granite. Cool conditions in Elim result in a naturally low yield of about 5 tons/ha. The Walker Bay vineyards also had a low yield because of dry and windy conditions and shallow shale soils. The Franschhoek Viognier was chosen because of the late ripening. It is picked together with the Shiraz in order to co-ferment.
Grapes from the different Shiraz vineyards were harvested at different times, but always with some Viognier. The grapes were hand-sorted and then fermented without stems. Regular pump overs were done during fermentation at about 25 degrees Celsius. After about 25 days’ maceration the free run and press wine were placed together in 300-litre barrels and matured for 14 months. 70% of the barrels were new. Blending took place and the wine went back to barrels for another 4 months before bottling took place in December 2014. 12 000 x 6 cases were bottled.
Good colour and tight, concentrated tannins from the Walker Bay area are combined with spicy, intensely flavoured wine from Elim, to produce a wine full of flavour and complexity. This vintage reflects rose geranium perfume on the nose, with mulberry fruit. Soft and gentle on the palate, medium in body and lots of finesse. A perfect expression of South African cool climate Syrah.
Alcohol 13,85% Vol
Residual sugar 2,8 g/l
Total acid 5,6 g/l