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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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Classic vinification at controlled temperature (25 °C) with prolonged maceration for phenolic extraction. Wine went through malolactic fermentation. 
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Pasta, Cheese, red meat and game.

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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.

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 98 Points
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"This is the best release yet from Lismore, superior even to the impressive 2017. Made from blocks that are now 13 years' old, this is wonderfully, enticingly floral, showcasing all that is best about Syrah: aromatic spices, layered cherry and strawberry fruit, bright acidity, some tannic backbone, subtle whole bunch notes and a long finish. The oak is on point, the alcohol daringly restrained. 2020-30 Greyton (13.2%)"

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"The 2018 Estate Reserve Syrah contains 50% whole-bunch fruit and is aged in 500- and 700-liter barrels, 30% new. It has an extremely pure, slightly floral bouquet of bright blueberry and black currant fruit infused with scents of crushed iris petals and violets, almost Burgundian in style. The palate is extremely well balanced with perfectly pitched acidity and filigreed tannins. There is an unerring sense of weightlessness about this Syrah, which is one of the most precise Lismore reds I have encountered over several years of tasting. Absolutely stunning. - Neal Martin"
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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97 97 Points
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