#273 Van Wyk Family Syrah 2021


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The Cool Climate Correlation

The Van Wyk Elgin Syrah forms part of our dip into the world of some of South Africa’s cooler Syrah sites. It is made by winemaker Justin Van Wyk, who is currently the cellarmaster at Constantia Glen. He’s also a previous recipient of the Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year award with his own range of quite versatile wines.
In this video we spend a little bit of time focusing on what makes this Elgin Syrah so special, and then we zoom out a little, and delve into the science and history of Rotundones in wine. We share six facts that may (or may not) make your next glass of Syrah, Mourvedre, or Gruner Veltliner just that little more interesting, while also explaining why cooler climate Syrahs are often more obviously pepper-laden.
If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs.


👃🏼 Nose of fresh blackberry and cherry fruit, front and centre, but gilded around the edges are savoury olive tapenade seams, herbal rocket leaf, subtle star anise, and white pepper spice.
👄 The palate carries some really quite vivid red and black fruit. Clean clear, fresh red cherry fruit up front, with light-footed, but laser-like and persistent acidity. Impressively structured through its balance between precise sour cherry acid, sweeter cherry boiled candy and a touch of grippy, stemmy tannins.


🔬 Wine of Origin Elgin. This Syrah was fermented with 50% whole-bunches in small vessels and underwent 13 months of maturation in second fill French oak barrels.
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