#271 Julien Schaal Cape South Coast Syrah 2020
VIDEO CHAPTER INDEX
00:00 – SOME ALSACE TRIVIA
00:31 – WHO ARE JULIEN AND SOPHIE SCHAAL?
01:42 – WHERE DOES THIS WINE COME FROM?
02:35 – WHAT DOES “COOLER CLIMATE” MEAN IN A SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT?
03:26 – WHAT DOES THE WINE TASTE LIKE?
THE FLYING WINEMAKERS
Julien Schaal and his Wife Sophie are two dynamic winemakers who produce wines in the region of Alsace, France. Julien works with Riesling from a number of Grand Cru sites, while Sophie has a slightly broader portfolio that incorporates Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling.
Julien has been making wine in South Africa since the turn of the century, where he once worked as a cellar hand. As happens to so many foreign visitors, he fell in love with the region, and so – ever since 2005 – he has been leaving Alsace at the end of each vintage to return to South Africa, and produce a range of cooler climate wines, using fruit from across Walker Bay, and the broader Overberg region. He bases his operations at the Paul Cluver Cellar in Elgin, and when his work is done here, he returns to Alsace to start the cycle all over again.
COOL CLIMATE vs COOL-er CLIMATE
In South Africa, when wine writers refer to “Cool Climates”, they are referring less to those marginal zones where grapes struggle to ripen, and talking more about regions where cooling influences like altitude, cloud belts or the Atlantic Ocean allow for grapes to ripen slower, and deliver more balanced nuanced wines. And so it is that, even though a wine like the Cape South Coast Syrah would be referred to as a “cooler climate syrah”, it still manages to achieve a high alcohol level of 14.5%.
Now, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won’t be able to experience that unique combination of very ripe fruit expressed with all the spice of cooler climate syrah. So, to temper the FOMO somewhat, I’ve left my tasting notes and some technical specs.
👃🏼 The nose is a generous – albeit slightly schizophrenic array of sweet blackberry fruit alongside savoury olive, white pepper spice.
👄 Palate is a light-footed but the fruit is ripe. There is sweet blackberry fruit up front, which is joined by a sort-of slow rise spice combo of pristine white pepper, sweeter all-spice powder. Then, in amidst the sweet fruit and spice, there is a lovely savoury black olive element. On the tail, the fruit lingers over fine tannins.
🔬Wine of Origin Cape South Coast. The grapes were harvested by hand at optimal ripeness and sorted in the cellar to ensure only the best fruit was used for fermentation. A portion of the blend was fermented as whole berries. The wine fermented naturally and aged in barrel for 12 months.
Alcohol 14.5% |
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