Syrah 393 2012

VINEYARD BLOCKS
About ½ from one block 17 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis with moveable foliage wires. Clones SH21A; SH1A & SH99 all on 101-14 rootstock. 5000 vines / hect. “Mont Fleur” vineyard – high altitude (393 metres) Helderberg mountain NW facing slope.
Steeply sloping terraced site with rocky, granitic based Hutton soil.
Yield 4,5 tons / hect. (33hl/ha)
About ½ from our new “Tip Top Mont Fleur” vineyard planted in 2003 immediately above the existing Shiraz vineyard. Soil and aspect similar, though a little steeper and stonier. Clones SH470 (sourced from Cote Rotie); SH174 (sourced from Hermitage) and SH747 all on 101-14 (low vigour) rootstock. Trellis system and planting density as older vineyard above.
Yield 3 tons / hect. (22hl/ha)

VINTAGE CONDITIONS
Winter 2011 was colder than usual, but with average rainfall resulting in excellent, even bud-break. We had good growth in spring, but poor weather (cold and rain) over the flowering period resulting in uneven flowering and berry set. We paid extra attention to green harvesting to help make up for this. Disease pressure was managed with well-timed sprays and open, small canopies. January was exceptionally hot, which really jolted the vines into ripeness. The ripening period of February and March was much cooler and close to perfect, with not much rain, and we’re extremely satisfied with the 2012 vintage.
Harvest date: 21 / 02 / 12 – 8 / 03 / 12 @ 23.5°- 24.7° Balling.

PRODUCTION
Handpicking into 20 kg crates. Destemming and gentle crushing directly into small 2 ton open top fermentation tanks. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. 30°C with the cap of skins punched down manually 1 – 4 times a day for 14 days. Wine drained directly to barrels together with single pressing from traditional basket press. Malolactic fermentation in the barrel. 50% new fine grained, slow toasted small French oak was used. Time in barrel 22 months with only 2 gentle rackings. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered by hand.
Bottling date: 15 / 01 / 2014
Production : 240 x 12 x 750ml

TASTING NOTES
Deep, dense colour. Brooding dark berry fruit with dusty fynbos, violets and white pepper nose. Palate also rather closed and needing time to evolve with fruit hidden behind plenty of fine grained tannins.
Drink 2017 to 2030.
A wine to linger over, but delicious with a venison casserole.

ANALYSIS
Alc. 15.10 SG. 1.5 TA 5.5 pH 3.59 VA 0.64 SO2 15free 44total

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