2014 Pierneef Syrah Viognier
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This wine is a blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. The Syrah component originates from Elim (51%), Walker Bay (39%) and Franschhoek (10%) and the Viognier (5%) from Franschhoek.
As was the case during the previous year, the growing season was preceded by a good winter that ensured even budding. Ample ground-water and cool soils delayed budding, and harvesting started later. Temperatures rose, with regular rain that promoted growth and caused favourable conditions for disease. Good leaf management was required. Heavy rain was also received during January. The harvest will be remembered for its magnitude in the Boland. In general, ripeness occurred at lower sugars. The alcohol level for the season was, therefore, lower.
The Elim vineyards grow in duplex soils with a high content of ferrocrete (coffee stone), the Walker Bay vineyards grow in shallow shale, and the Franschhoek vineyards in deep, sandy decomposed granite. Cool conditions in the Elim area resulted in a naturally low yield of about 5 tons/ha. The Walker Bay vineyards also have a low yield due to dry and windy conditions and shallow shale soils. The Franschhoek Viognier was chosen because of the late ripening and was picked together with the Syrah, for the grapes to be fermented together.
Grapes from the different Syrah vineyards were harvested at different times, but always together with some Viognier. The grapes were hand-sorted and then fermented without stems. Regular pump-overs were performed during fermentation at approximately 25 degrees Celsius. After about 25 days’ maceration, the free-run and presswine were placed together in 300-litre barrels for 14 months’ maturation – 45% of the barrels were new. Subsequently, blending took place and the wine was returned to the barrels for another 4 months, before bottling took place in December 2015. 12 000 x 6 cases were bottled and released as 2014 La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier.
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 aromatic herb and perfume notes integrated with sweet fruit and toasted oak. Tight and restrained on the palate, with a pleasing, dry finish. A perfect expression of South African cool-climate Syrah.
Alcohol 13,35% Vol
Residual sugar 2,3 g/l
Total acid 5,8 g/l