Planted in 2005 on the steep midslopes of the Helderberg Mountain range, Steepside Syrah sits at an elevation of 300m. Vines grow in rich red clay loam soils with high levels of iron and quartzite originating from the peaks above. The combination of these deep granitic soils and the intensity of the sunshine on the North facing ridge allows the vineyard to produce wines with power and structure, while the spicy herbal aromatics can be attributed to the elevation and the pristine fynbos flora that surround it.

All grapes used in producing this wine are from the Steepside vineyard. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. Fermentation is carried out by yeast which occurs naturally on the grape skins. Red wines spend three to four weeks fermenting and macerating on the skins in small open top tanks with one or two gentle ‘punch-downs’ performed per day. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned 225L and 500L French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. Only 2828 bottles and 53 Magnums were produced.

TASTING NOTE

The Steepside Syrah 2017 has a light ruby red colour. It has a bouquet of bright red fruit with distinctive sappy, earthy notes, and a hint of vanilla. The palate has a gentle, weightless entry, but soon fills in with spicy, savoury fruit, and coarse, but elegant tannins. There is a lovely tension on the finish with lingering pepper, sandalwood, and earthy plum flavours. Drink 2022-2035.

VINTAGE REPORT

2017 was an excellent growing season on Keermont. Despite a drier than usual Winter, we had strong growth
in the vineyards during the Spring time. This led to the formation of a good healthy crop which ripened evenly during the warm, dry Summer. Harvest started fairly early, but was put on hold after a heavy rainfall in late January. This rejuvenated the vines and allowed for extended ripening which definitely raised the general quality. We recorded one of our largest and healthiest crops yet and grapes came in with great analysis and concentration. Steepside yield 2017: 4.2 ton/Ha

ANALYSIS

Alc: 14.0 %
pH: 3.66
TA: 4.8 g/L
RS: 1.5 g/L
TSO2: 61 mg/L
VA: 0.72 g/L

ACCOLADES

STEEPSIDE SYRAH 17: 4 ½ stars PLATTER GUIDE
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 17: 96 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 17: 92 pts NEAL MARTIN (VINOUS)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 17: 92 pts WINE SPECTATOR
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 16: 94 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 16: 94 pts NEAL MARTIN (VINOUS)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 16: 96 pts DECANTER
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 16: 92 pts WINE MAGAZINE
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 16: 4 ½ stars PLATTER GUIDE
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 15: 95 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 15: 4 ½ stars PLATTER GUIDE
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 15: 92 pts NEAL MARTIN
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 14: 94 pts NEAL MARTIN (Wine Advocate)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 14: 96 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 14: 4½ stars PLATTER GUIDE
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 12: 96 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 12: TIM ATKIN (MW) – Super Syrah: 70 top New World buys for Rhone Lovers, Decanter Magazine, Sep 2015
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 12: 92 pts NEAL MARTIN (Wine Advocate)
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 12: 4½ stars PLATTER GUIDE