||The Fledge & Co
||50% Elgin & 50% Tradouw, South Africa
||Black berries, plum cocoa and leather
||Blackberry, plum, raspberry. Notes of black pepper and leather.
Philosophy – Sometimes what one thinks is the familiar, is the unfamiliar. Syrah, or Shiraz, is a grape very much open to interpretation of site, viticulture & viniculture while stubbornly showcasing its inherent traits. Our aim is to craft a reflection of site, vintage & of what we enjoy drinking.
Vineyard – From an SH-99 Syrah block we call “the reef” which is wedged into shale rich soil with a top layer of chunky sandstone shale, quartz & red clay with a distinct limestone reef running across the middle of the block in near perfect continental climatic conditions. Combined, with the first vintage from a terraced block perched atop an Elgin hillside on chunky Bokkeveld shale & flecks of quartz ‘n yellow clays. A tumultuous yet extremely concentrated vintage due to the preceding lean years characterised by small bunches, concentrated flavours at low sugar & generous nervy wines. Continual tasting in the vineyards & relying on the farmers knowledge of their vines were cardinal to success in this vintage. The preceding vintages prepared us for the wild ride which was 20-Hateen (tongue in cheek!).
Vinification – The second last fruit of the vintage harvested the 3rd week of March, each site picked solely on taste. Crushed into a small open-top cement fermenter, allowed two days cold soak prior to inoculation with a Pinot-specific yeast strain, gently pigeaged over the week long slow cold ferment, gently pressed & racked off into 500L French oak & American oak puncheons (40% new) with the remainder in 300L old French hogsheads for 15 months barrel maturation. A barrel selection was made & blended, where after the wine spent a further seven months in tank prior to bottling unfined & unfiltered. Only yeast & small amounts of sulphur are added during the process.
Wine – This vintage is buxom yet slow to unfurl, with an unmistakable Syrah-ness wrapped up in black berries, purple plum, cocoa nib & bright spice, generous palate weight framed by lemon squeeze acidity, savoury finish ‘n hints of fynbos (garrigue) making for an moreish drop. Deserving of accompaniment by rustic country fare – slow roast leg of lamb, waterblommetjiebredie, char-grilled T-bone or sirloin on the bone with Café de Paris sauce ‘n shoe-string fries or simply a selection of charcuterie, fine fromage - in good company & much cheer. Decant in youth or cellar to experience its full potential in the decade to come.