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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.
"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
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
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
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
"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
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
With our long history of making single site syrah's in Washington, it made sense for us to venture into the Rocks District of Milton Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley to bring you our newest syrah, "Domaine de Pierres."
The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation.
In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express.
The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it. We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!
"This has strident peppery notes with a layer of sappy whole-cluster fragrances and complexity as well as fresh charcuterie meats, smoky notes and graphite. Red plums and blackberries lurk beneath. The palate has deep chocolate and cherry fruits. Very suave, supple tannins carry dark plums, dark chocolate and energetic freshness to the finish. Give this 2-3 years to integrate."
- James Suckling (2018), 95 pts
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
"The 2016 Syrah La Cote Rousse is built around clone 99, all from Red Mountain, that saw 45% whole clusters in the fermentation. This cuvee, which is also moving more and more toward Ciel du Cheval, is 88% from this terrific site. It’s another inky purple colored red with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spice, dried herbs, and mineral aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, ripe, layered Syrah needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years." 95+ pts - Jeb Dunnuck
"The 2016 Syrah La Côte Rousse reveals notes of purple flowers, crunchy dark berry fruit and cracked pepper, followed by a medium-bodied, youthfully chewy but fine-grained palate that's bright and chalky. Taut and concentrated, it will require—and reward—some patience." 94+ - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"So much spice and mineral aromas here with hints of cloves and white pepper. Full body, ink and dark fruit and some black olives. A solid and chewy syrah with so much strength yet form." 94 pts - James Suckling
Long Shadows Sequel Syrah is made from 95% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
An intensely colored wine with spicy aromas of cassis, smoked meats and a hint of olive tapenade woven throughout layers of black currant, blueberry and a trace of licorice. Wonderfully balanced, with a broad mouth-feel and soft tannins that hold together seamlessly.
Winemaking: Syrah’s delicate skin requires gentle handling during fermentation to extract richness without imparting bitter tannins, so winemaker John Duval uses a variety of techniques to produce a wide spectrum of flavors. A portion of the grapes were fermented using an Australian method known as “rack and return” that requires draining the tank twice daily and gently putting the juice back over the top of the skins. Whole-cluster fermentation was also used to enhance richness and dimension on the palate. Lastly, some of the lots underwent submerged cap fermentation to add structure and enhance the mouthfeel of the finished wine. Aged 18 months in 100% French oak barrels, 65% new.
A blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Sequel is another ripe, sexy, yet pure and balanced vintage for this cuvée. Lovely blackberry, smoked earth, graphite, and ground pepper all flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, elegant wine that packs less of a punch than normal, yet is balanced and layered, with a great finish. It will benefit from a year or two in bottle and keep for a decade. -Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Pinea is made from 100 percent Tempranillo. 30 months, new French oak barrels
PINEA is born of the founders desire to make a wine on a par with the world’s finest. Its name is inspired by a beautiful and majestic Pinus Pinea tree, which is probably one of the oldest and tallest in the region. Surrounded by old vines, it has been witness to centuries of history.
PINEA is a hand-made, artisanal wine made with the heart. Crafted with care and respect for its origins, it also faithfully reflects the terroir and the passion of everyone involved in its creation. It is made from old vines, grown on clay-loam terrain at high altitude. Our winery is characterized by its minimal intervention approach to precision viticulture, key to ensuring that the grape is able to express itself fully.
PINEA is aged in and blended from new fine-grained French oak barrels of medium toast, which respect the fruit during the ageing process. Perfection is sought at each and every stage of winemaking, in order to successfully create a wine in which fruit plays a leading role, integrated with the complexity of oak. A unique wine. Elegant. Subtle. Perhaps one of the very best in the world.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: LESS THAN 1,000 CASES (13,000 BOTTLES)
Appearance: It is a clean and bright, deeply colored, almost opaque, ruby red wine with a garnet rim.
Nose: It is clean and balanced, and very intense in aromas. As is typical for the varietal, it is rich in black fruit aromas, predominantly blackberry. The use of new oak gives pungent aromas of bitter chocolate, coffee, cedar and smoky notes that give length and depth.
Palate: It has a powerful attack, which fills and envelops the palate from start to finish. Full-bodied, it has high tannins and considerable alcohol, although both are very well integrated. It is perfectly balanced on its passage through the mouth, leaving flavors of black forest fruits, blackberries and spices such as clove and black pepper. It leaves a long, harmonious aftertaste. It all comes together in a finish of smoky, slightly bitter notes, which give it great length and a persistence that lasts a long time after drinking. A complex, well-balanced wine that shows the full potential of oak-aged Tempranillo.
Unctuous, ripe, dark fruit. Intense blackberry with hints of liquorice. Powerful, elegant with precision of a principal male dancer. Long, rich and dense finish.
-International Wine Challenge 95 Points
Sweet berries and chocolate with some bark, walnuts and hints of hazelnuts. It’s full-bodied with juicy, polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Lots of intense, focused fruit. Drink or hold.
- James Suckling 94 Points
95 pts. International Wine Challenge
96 pts. San Francisco International Wine Competition