2020 Craven The Firs Vineyard Syrah, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Syrah is a grape that Mick and Jeanine have a soft spot for. They believe there are some really special and unique sites and plantings of Syrah. In the past they made a second Syrah from the Faure region but found the wine to lack the verve that the Firs Vineyard has, and made the switch in 2019. The Firs Vineyard is owned and farmed by Deon Joubert, located in the warmest enclave of Stellenbosch that Mick pulls fruit from, Devon Valley. The soils are very rich, deep, red soil with high clay content that gives a richness to the wine but keep in mind that Mick picks quite early and there is plenty of that lovely peppery, meaty, high tones that cool-climate Syrah fans adore.
The bunches were hand-harvested and fermented entirely whole-cluster in open-top stainless-steel fermenters. The bunches were lightly foot-stomped to extract a bit of juice and then over the course of a week, gentle pumpovers were performed once or twice daily, as they want to minimize extraction and maintain as many whole bunches as possible. After a total of nine days the wine was gently pressed into old French puncheons for maturation for roughly 10 months. The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.