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 our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned 225 and 500 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. Only 2571 bottles were produced.
This is an intense wine with a bright strawberry red colour. Spicy, floral aromas are complimented by hints of cinnamon, ripe strawberries and black current. The palate is full and broad with ripe spicy fruit. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent dry finish with lingering flavours of vibrant and savoury red fruit. Drink 2018-2028.
A cold wet winter (as experienced in this vintage) is a good thing for the vine. It goes into full dormancy and wakes up well rested and ready for the season ahead. This was apparent with very even budding and strong early growth during spring.
From that point onwards, we experienced a very dry season. Growing conditions, however, were ideal with warm days and cool nights. This variation in temperature leads to good flavour and colour development in the berries and as a result we had a small crop with great quality.
We had our earliest harvest yet starting on 23 January and finishing on 3 March and took 70 tons of grapes into the winery. Yield 2015: 5.9 ton/Ha
Alc: 14.5 %
TA: 4.8 g/L
RS: 1.4 g/L
TSO2: 56 mg/L
VA: 0.61 g/L
STEEPSIDE SYRAH 15: 95pts 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