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Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Swartland is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Grapes for our Boekenhoutskloof Syrah are picked from selected parcels of the finest Syrah, grown at our Swartland farms, namely Porseleinberg and Goldmine, close to the small town of Riebeek-Kasteel. These vineyards were planted on the rocky bedrock of decomposed Mica-Schist, a unique terroir, finding its expression in our concentrated and structured wines made from this Rhône grape.
The nose is perfumed, forthcoming and fresh, offering an array of rich dark fruits with a spicy, floral, even feral character, derived from complex aromas of dark berries, plums, violets, black olives, star anise and potting soil. The black fruits and earthy character of the nose follow through onto a dark, brooding palate with flavours of wild berries, brambles, liquorice, tobacco, cloves and black cardamom. The mid-palate is concentrated, deep, dense and slightly dusty, with dry, very fine cocoa-powdery tannins lending structure. The wine is very precise, with a medium to full body, a tight, grainy texture and vibrant acidity to balance. Blackberries, blueberries and notes of garrigue and dark chocolate linger on a savoury finish.
Using fruit from two exceptional Swartland sources – Goldmine and mostly Porseleinberg – this foudre-aged Syrah is fresh, subtle and intensely aromatic, as schist Syrahs often tend to be. Complex, floral and refined with remarkable freshness and palate length. Drink: 2020-2028.
– Tim Atkin MW, 95/100
Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm’s name means “ravine of the Boekenhout” (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making.
In 1993 the farm and homestead was bought and restored and a new vineyard planting programme was established that now includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Semillon and Viognier.
As a producer, Boekenhoutskloof is a Syrah specialist, with its premium Boekenhoutskloof range selling out on release each vintage, and The Chocolate Block – a Syrah based blend – is probably the most successful new wine offering to come out of South Africa in the modern era.
The Wolftrap brand of blended Rhone-style wines was inspired by the pioneering spirit of the early settlers who built what is now a monument to their adventurous spirit. The Porcupine Ridge range of delicious, everyday wines is a firm favourite on tables throughout the world – offering great value and superb drinking.
Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for making fine furniture. Our Boekenhoutskloof label features seven chairs; amongst them the country-style split splat chair made in the neo-classical style with a shouldered top rail and thonged seat from the late 18th century.
Then there’s the Sandveld chair that has two back rails and a thonged seat which made its appearance in the second quarter of the 19th century. The transitional Tulbagh chair was made in the late 18th century, it has a plain back and a shaped top rail with half-round opening.
The chairs on our wine label all pay tribute to the skills of the 18th century craftsmen and their achievements in creating beauty from natural sources, just like the pursuit of fine wine-making.
No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS
Inglenook Rubicon is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.
Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."
Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.
After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.
Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.
- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah
Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.
Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.
A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts
Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling
"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade." 92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
Avennia Arnaut Syrah is made of 100% Syrah
For our taste, no one grows finer Syrah in the state than Dick Boushey. We named this wine after the Provencal Troubadour Arnaut Daniel, who invented the Sestina poem form, thus creating a connection between our two flagship efforts.
"Deep, dark Syrah notes on the nose, with dark blackberry, blueberry reduction, grilled meat, crushed olive, black licorice, camphor, pen ink, and cracked black pepper. The palate is super concentrated and dense, tightly focused, and deeply complex. Savory blueberry, pan drippings, a hint of orange essence, and hand-rubbed sage come through on the extremely long and nuanced finish. A compelling wine that will age for a couple decades at least." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
We make this wine with minimal manipulation, using native yeasts and bottling unfined and unfiltered, to allow the "place" to shine through.
AVA: Yakima Valley
Blend: 100% Boushey Vineyard Syrah
Winemaking: 15% whole cluster, native yeast, 15% new French oak, aged 16 months, bottled unfined & unfiltered.
The 2019 Syrah Arnaut is the tenth edition of this wine, which utilizes 100% Boushey vineyard fruit from the Yakima Valley. The nose is deep and concentrated, presenting iodine alongside ripe blackberry cordial, tar, white pepper and black licorice tones. Rich and layered in the mouth, with a beautiful texture, this shows outstanding length and a glorious core of dark fruits with bacon fat and chocolate undertones.
Vinous 95 Points
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The inspiration for this Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region has both a signature grape as well as particular terroirs within its demarcated boundary that reflect regional credentials. This Chardonnay was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.
Tasting Notes: Sourced from a parcel in the Western part of Elgin the 95 clone is known for its excellent quality creating wines that are aromatic, fuller bodied and rich yet tightly structured, well–balanced with length of flavor, managing to show restraint and mouth-watering passivity with a great line through the palate and fruit veering towards white peach flesh and nectarine. On Bokkeveld Shales it brings amplified perfume on the nose and persistence and elegance to the palate.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 liters per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulfuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.
"Minerals and a hint of flint on the nose. The expressive minerality of this wine also shows on the palate with complementary light stone fruit notes. Aged in 50% new 228L oak aging for 11 months."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 95 pts
Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This cuvée is produced from grapes planted in the "Champ-Rond" vineyard and vinified in 800-liter amphoras.
The wine displays the estate's typical exotic fruit aromas and ripe citrus fruits with an extra dimension of expression due to the amphora's breathing. Ample and generous in the mouth with fine acidity and fantastic purity.
Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is aged in 800-liter amphoras. The small grapes ripen beautifully without a high degree of alcohol - they are picked on the last day of the harvest, and the aging in amphora gives the wine a great purity.
The vines are grafted on "Riparia Gloire de Montpellier" - an old root-stock that was obtained in 1880 - producing very low yields with magnificent small grapes of a deep gold color.