2016 Pierneef Syrah Viognier
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This wine is a blend of 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier. The Shiraz component is from Elim (60%) and Walker Bay (35%) while the Viognier (5%) originates from Franschhoek.
The preceding winter was cold enough to allow good budding, but in places only 33% of average rainfall was received. Initially, growth and bunch-forming were good, with indications of a promising harvest. With heat-waves in October and January and an exceptional number of days with the temperature above 35 degrees Celsius during summer, the potential harvest volume decreased substantially. There was also a great shortage of water for irrigation. Harvest-time was 10 — 14 days earlier than usual. These conditions prevailed throughout the wine-lands. In the Elim area itself it was cooler, with more regular rains from the south-east. Due to the risk of rotting, grapes could not be left on the vines for too long. The result is wine with a low alcohol content and a positive, low pH.
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 in deep, sandy, decomposed sandstone and granite. Cool conditions in the Elim area resulted in a naturally low yield of about 5 tons/ha. The Walker Bay vineyards also produced a low yield because of dry, windy conditions and the shallow shale soils. The Franschhoek Viognier was chosen because of its late ripening and was harvested together with the Shiraz in order to co-ferment.
Grapes from the various Shiraz vineyards were harvested at different times, but always together with an amount of Viognier. The grapes were hand-sorted and then fermented without stems. Regular pump-overs were done during fermentation at approximately 25 degrees Celsius. After about 25 days’ maceration, the free run and press wine were placed together into 300-litre barrels and matured for 14 months. 50% of the barrels were new. Blending took place and the wine was returned to the barrels for another 4 months before bottling took place in November 2017. 15 200 cases (6 x 750 ml) and 800 magnums were bottled.
A good expression of the cooler side of the Cape winelands. Good ripeness at a low sugar level produced a gentle, perfumy wine. Not a concentrated wine, but full of character and personality, with mulberry, pepper and licorice on the nose. Soft, silky and easy on the palate, with finesse and freshness in the finish.
Alcohol 12,96% Vol
Residual sugar 2,8 g/l
Total acid 5,7 g/l