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Kershaw Elgin Clonal Selection Syrah 2017

ID No: 447602
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 97 Points
Country:South Africa
Region:Western Cape
Winery:Kershaw
Grape Type:Syrah
Vintage:2017
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Kershaw Elgin Clonal Selection Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

 
Subtle, precise style built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness with flavours of black skinned fruit, iodine and ground white peppercorns.

The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 26 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulphuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

Vineyards: Age of the vines is 10 years-old

Review:

"This has a gorgeous, lifted nose that combines perfumed fruit and oak spice to heady effect. Soft, plush and fresh on the palate, with pinpoint raspberry acidity and lingering rose perfume. It’s matured in barriques and 500-litre French oak barrels, half new, the other half recently used – the oak plays an integral part and it’s applied with great skill. Displaying exceptional tannic finesse, this is a thrilling and emotive Syrah. Matt Walls"
- Decanter (August 2020, Syrah vs Shiraz: 30 great buys from South Africa), 97 pts


Winery: Kershaw

Surrounded by mountains, the Elgin district sits in the Western Cape of South Africa. The year-round cool climate is perfect for producing grapes with rich, subtle flavors.
Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, our Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.

Richard Kershaw Wines was established in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, South Africa’s coolest wine region. Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, our Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.

Winery Philosophy: Our commitment is to make the best wines possible from the vine clones best suited to our unique terroir. Our grapes are grown in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape of South Africa. We produce only a very limited number of cases of Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay and Kershaw Elgin Syrah each vintage. Our aim always is to produce some of the best wines of their style in South Africa.

Owner: Richard Kershaw MW

Date Founded: January 2012

Born and raised in the UK, Richard travelled extensively before settling in South Africa in 1999 to make wine full time. He established Richard Kershaw Wines in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, the country’s coolest wine region, choosing to focus on apposite noble grapes (ones with the ability to produce world-class examples) and now has a stable of award-winning, much in demand wines including Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah.
One of only 10 Masters of Wine who actively make their own wines and South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard is much in demand when not in the vineyard or cellar. A wine show judge for many prestigious competitions around the globe, he is also part of the educational panel for the Institute of Masters of Wine, lectures for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in South Africa, and shares the breadth of his knowledge with students and consumers via talks, tastings and blogs.

Our grapes are grown in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape of South Africa. We produce a limited number of cases of Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir each vintage under our Clonal Selection range, and site- soil- and clone- specific Elgin Chardonnay and Syrah in our Deconstructed range. We have recently introduced our GPS Series range which explores unusual sites from outside the Elgin region, and our Smuggler's Boot range in which Richard uses a variety of winemaking techniques to produce easy drinking wines. Our aim always is to produce some of the best wines of their style in South Africa.


The Elgin Valley benefits from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, similar to Southern Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, which enables the germane grapes, Chardonnay and Syrah, to show a sense of place.

Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay makes use of the lower-yielding Dijon clones, namely 76, 95 & 96 (developed at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France), offering a restrained, mineral style focused on elegance with a white, fruit character, some oatmeal, and complexity gained from percipient wood.

Kershaw Elgin Syrah makes use of local clones 9c and 22 giving subtlety and precision built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness and flavours of black fruit, iodine, medicinal notes and black pepper.

Kershaw Elgin Pinot Noir makes use of French clones PN667, PN115 and PN113 giving floral attributes underscored by purity, focus and freshness framed by fine powder tannins yet cushioned by a succulent texture and flavours of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry.

Each Clonal Selection wine is made from 3-4 small parcels on terroir-specific plots with particular soils types. Each Deconstructed wine is made from clone specific, soil specific site in Elgin. They are all handpicked into small lugs and vinified in Elgin travelling no more than 10-15 minutes between vineyard and cellar, avoiding unnecessary crushing and premature juice oxidation. In the cellar, they are handled minimally using a gravity-fed system that avoids pumping and no products are added to the wine.

Winemaker: Richard Kershaw MW

Varietals Produced: Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Mourvedre, Semillon


Winery Production: 8100 / 9L cases


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Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 2016

Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The inspiration for this Syrah 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 Syrah was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.

Sourced from a single parcel in the Western part of Elgin, the 22 clone produces fuller, well-colored yet finely structured wines. They tend to be more concentrated as yields are low with more black fruit, black pepper and meaty notes. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, add gracefulness and heighten the fruit intensity.

The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage (punch-down of the cap) program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 26 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulfuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

Review:

"Rich, ripe fruit with a note of cooking spice on the nose. Very dense on the palate with terrific peppery black fruit (think St. Joseph) at the core and minerals. Long, graceful finish. Sourced from a single parcel of only the SH22 clone. Matured 17 months in 228L French oak, 45% new."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts



 International Wine Review: 93
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Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 2017

Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The inspiration for this Syrah 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 Syrah was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.

Sourced from a single parcel in the Western part of Elgin, the 22 clone produces fuller, well-colored yet finely structured wines. They tend to be more concentrated as yields are low with more black fruit, black pepper and meaty notes. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, add gracefulness and heighten the fruit intensity.

The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage (punch-down of the cap) program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 26 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulfuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

Review:

"The 2017 Kershaw Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22, matured 50% in new oak for 17 months, is a little more open on the nose compared to the SH9c and delivers a touch more red berry fruit, quite candied in style and suggesting strawberry pastilles. The palate is medium-bodied with a saline entry, fine definition and a mélange of red and black fruit laced with licorice toward the poised finish. Excellent.- Neal Martin"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (April 2021), 93 pts



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Groenland Shale CY548 2017

Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Groenland Shale CY548 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 (CY548).

Tasting Notes:

Sourced from the foothills of the Groenland Mountain in Northern Elgin this clone has been taken from Corton Charlemagne cuttings. It produces wines that have aromatics oscillating between lemon blossom, white flowers, petrichor and struck stone. Full in body they exude concentration with white stone fruit yet reinforced with an austere texture and robustness that makes for excellent aging potential. The Bokkeveld Shales adds structure and concentration to the flavor.

Vineyards: 

Sourced from the foothills of the Groenland Mountain in Northern Elgin this clone has been taken from Corton Charlemagne cuttings.

Winemaking: 

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.

Barrel: Selection: A small number of artisanal coopers are selected from mostly Burgundy, with only French oak was chosen. Up to 40% of the oak is new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels of predominantly 228 litres.

Look at pairing this with textured fish, straightforward chicken dishes, pan-fried or grilled pork dishes, soft-rind cheeses, cream or creamy dishes be it with pasta or the aforementioned fish, chicken or pork, to allow the complexity of the wine to shine through. If using mustard, preferably use Dijon mustard as it uses verjus (soured grape juice) and not vinegar. Also look to delicate herbs (tarragon, dill, basil, parsley) rather than hard stalked herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc). Avoid smoked meats or fish as well as highly spiced dishes as this can overwhelm the wine and clash with the oak. I would try oysters; Lobster grilled or boiled but not thermidor as it is too rich; turbot, dover sole, sea bass, yellowtail with a shellfish sauce; fish pie; roasted free-range chicken with tarragon; roast loin of pork with garlic and ginger; truffle risotto; pasta in a clam sauce; slice of brie de meaux.

Review:

"Perfume of flowers, minerals and citrus zest. The palate is dense and focused, almost chewy with an opulent mandarin mid palate and long, savory finish. Matured in 50% new oak that is seamlessly integrated with the wine."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 94 pts



 94 Points
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Cartref CY96 2017

Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Cartref CY96 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Sourced from the western part of Elgin, known as the Lake District, this clone produces wines that are nervous, aromatic, elegant and sharp with slightly lower alcohol and finely balanced, the fruit profile being subtle with hints of citrus/orange peel and peach blossom and with time, some nutty elements. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed granite, pebbles and quartz, adds delicacy and heightens the fruit intensity.

The inspiration for my Deconstructed Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region boasts credentials that make it world-class. To bolster these regional credentials, I have set out to prove that Elgin has both a signature grape, as well as specific ‘terroirs’ (meso-climates) that reflect intra-regional distinctions. To fully comprehend this, it is necessary to dig deeper into the DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make these 3 Chardonnay wines, each selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.

Vintage notes:

Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an
early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in
mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense fruit flavors.

Winemaking: 

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 litres 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 sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.

Review:

"A single clone (96) grown on a single parcel from a single vineyard of Cartref soils (decomposed granite and quartz). Roasted grain, wet stones, and lemon peel aromas. Precise and tightly coiled with an intense mineral character and yellow fruit and citrus zest flavors finishing with a smoky gunflint note. Matured in 50% new oak."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts




 International Wine Review: 93
Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 2016

Kershaw Syrah Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH22 is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The inspiration for this Syrah 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 Syrah was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.

Sourced from a single parcel in the Western part of Elgin, the 22 clone produces fuller, well-colored yet finely structured wines. They tend to be more concentrated as yields are low with more black fruit, black pepper and meaty notes. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, add gracefulness and heighten the fruit intensity.

The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage (punch-down of the cap) program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 26 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulfuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

Review:

"Rich, ripe fruit with a note of cooking spice on the nose. Very dense on the palate with terrific peppery black fruit (think St. Joseph) at the core and minerals. Long, graceful finish. Sourced from a single parcel of only the SH22 clone. Matured 17 months in 228L French oak, 45% new."

- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts



 International Wine Review: 93
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 2017

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.

Winemaking: 
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.

Review:

"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



 95 Points
Avennia Le Corbeau Syrah 2017

Named after the French word for Crow, or Raven, this Syrah is certainly as dark as the name implies. Hailing from Discovery Vineyard, perched high above the Columbia River in the heart of the Horse Heaven Hills, these grapes were grown in a very unique terroir. Avennia's approach of old-world style, minimalist winemaking allows for full expression of the fruit, showcasing the elegant and savory side of Syrah.

"Leads with a nice balance of dark fruits—blackberry and blueberry—with more savory elements, including blackberry leaf, olive, charcuterie, and a hint of shiitake. The palate features snappy fresh black fruits, a hint of smoked meat, and a lively finish with plenty of savory elements that make this wine quite interesting. Give it a year in the cellar and enjoy over the next eight years or so." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

Reviews:

"Aromas of blackberry and violet accented by a note of stems. Sweet, supple wine with dark fruit flavors lifted by a black-peppery topnote and accented by cinnamony Red Hots. For all its high notes, this is essentially a creamy wine with no edges. I suspect it will tighten up in bottle and eventually display a more savory aspect. Incidentally, this will be the last vintage for this bottling because, beginning with vintage 2018, Chris Peterson will introduce some new single-vineyard Syrahs from the exciting new WeatherEye vineyard on top of Red Mountain. This steep site, owned by Cameron Myhrvold and farmed by Ryan Johnson, extends over the ridgeline and onto the northern flank of Red Mountain. The project is called Red Mountain Elevated, and Peterson is making the wines. (14.5% alcohol; done mostly in puncheons; vinified with 10% stems) - Stephen Tanzer”
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 92 pts

"The last vintage for this cuvée, the 2017 Syrah Le Corbeau Discovery Vineyard is similar in style to the Arnaut yet offers slightly more floral notes in its blue fruits, wild strawberry, violets, rose petal, and sappy, forest floor aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with bright acidity and good balance, it’s a beautiful Syrah that leans heavily toward the fresh, elegant end of the spectrum while still offering tons of character and pleasure.”

- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 92-94 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 94 Points
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