#226 Strandveld Syrah 2020
👃🏼 The aromas on this are more serious than a Michael Mann flick. Super moody dried herbs, cloves, crushed stones, smoky flint, and black pepper spice sit front and centre, where the blackcurrant fruit aromas only pop up as an afterthought. They certainly are some lovely afterthoughts, but an afterthoughts, nevertheless.
👄 Palate is light and lithe with superbly fresh blackberry fruit, and some brighter cherry acidity. The black pepper spice and dried herbs that popped up on the nose can’t help but wash over onto the palate, maintaining a formidably dry and savour atmosphere to the whole affair, not harmed in the least by an almost sea-salty seam that barrels down the core of the wine. However, its on the almost awkwardly long tail that the pristine blackberry fruit – which was only hinted at on the aromas – really comes through, lingering far longer than any of the other elements.
VIDEO CONTENTS INDEX:
00:10 – WHERE ON EARTH IS STRANDVELD VINEYARDS
00:30 – MORE ABOUT THE AGULHAS WINE TRIANGLE
01:11 – WHAT DOES AN ELIM SHIRAZ SMELL LIKE?
01:50 – THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SHIRAZ AND SYRAH
02:00 – WHAT DOES AN ELIM SHIRAZ TASTE LIKE?
03:09 – HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT TO “ORDINARY SOUTH AFRICAN SHIRAZ”
04:20 – FOUR ELEMENTS THAT WINEMAKERS LOOK FOR IN A GREAT SITE FOR SOUTH AFRICAN SYRAH
05:40 – WHAT DOES THE HANDRINKSSOLO YOUTUBE CHANNEL HAVE TO OFFER?
The Agulhas Wine Triangle
Strandveld Estate is part of the Agulhas Wine Triangle. A little group of wine producers down in the region of Cape Agulhas, Elim, and Napier on the Cape South Coast. These producers are known mostly for their Sauvignon Blanc and their Shirazes, although amongst their ranks they have total wine renegades like Bruce Jack, who will occasionally produce things like a Touriga Franca MCC, just for shits and giggles. So it is very hard to predict exactly what they will do next.
Perhaps the only thing that is predictable about this area is the regularity with which Sauvignon Blanc and Syrahs rake in wine awards. Far more than is statistically probable for such a small group.
Strandveld are one of the more established producers in this group, and their Syrah is an absolute textbook example of the sort of profile that you can expect from the zone (it also happens to be a 4,5 star Platter wine).
In this video we talk a little about the wine, but also ask the question, “What are winemakers looking for in an ideal Syrah vineyard site?” The thinking is that, if you know what they are looking for, then that should inform you about what you should be looking for when asking questions about South African Shiraz.
But if you don’t have time for all that, here are some tasting notes and a few technical specifications.
🔬 Wine of Origin Elim. Vines are made up of clones SH5C, SH9B, and SH22. Grapes were destemmed, and crushed before being cold soaked for 48 hours. Grapes were innoculated with a Rhone Yeast strain, before being matured in barrel for 18 months. French Oak. 30% new oak.
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