2015 Kershaw Deconstructed Lake District Cartref SH9c
VARIETAL INFORMATION: 100% Syrah made up of clone 9c
WINE OF ORIGIN: Lake District, Elgin, South Africa
TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 0.5 tons selected from 1 small parcel of Syrah.
OVERVIEW: The inspiration for the Deconstructed Range 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 nuances/DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make 3 Syrah wines that have been selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.
VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 16th March 2015 Brix at Harvest: 23.71
SEASON: Copious rain during the early half of winter and respectable cold units meant the vines underwent decent winter dormancy. A wet yet warmer August resulted in earlier budbreak yet cold evenings kept mildew infections at bay. Cooler nights continued well into spring ensuring
an even budbreak and more importantly across all bearers giving better spacing within the eventual canopy. Dry conditions into late spring enabled a perfect flowering and subsequent shoot growth. A dry and warm summer without excessive heatwaves meant that berry set was unhindered and véraison took place 15 days early. Healthy picture-perfect grapes were harvested 2 weeks early capturing fabulous acid levels, purity of flavour and incredible textures. As a net result 2015 has described as a superlative year.
WINEMAKING: 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 22 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.
BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected from Burgundy and the Rhone, with only French oak chosen. 40% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, 500 litres in size.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 250 bottles were produced, all individually marked on the label.
TASTING PROFILE: Sourced from a single parcel in the Western part of Elgin the 9c clone when planted in cooler areas is known to produce wines that are well scented, delicately balanced and savoury. They are medium in weight resonating elegance, finesse of tannin, and purity of fruit, the flavours revealing more white pepper, violet/lavender, Victoria plum and iodine. They tend to exude freshness and energy with lively acidity giving precision to the wine. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed sandstone, pebbles and quartz, adds gracefulness and heightens the fruit intensity.