The Topside Syrah vineyard is situated high up on the West facing mid-slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain range (Elevation 350m). It was planted in 2006 on rocky soils consisting of sandstone and granite, weathered from the peaks above. Vines are trellised and run with the contour in a North South direction. The elevation, soil and aspect all contribute to spicy character and fine tannin structure of this wine. The views from the top of this vineyard west to Table Mountain are simply breath taking.
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. Fermentation is carried out by yeast which occurs naturally on the grape skins and in the winery. 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 500 litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. Only 1271 bottles were produced.
Dark plummy red in colour, the Topside Syrah 2016 has a beautiful bouquet of black fruit with hints of ripe cherries, rose petal and white pepper. The wine has a soft juicy entry onto the palate. A bold grippy tannin structure anchors the powerful red fruit with hints of herbs and pepper. The finish is long with luxurious fruit balanced with the natural acidity and tight structure. Drink 2020-2030.
The 2016 vintage was a challenging one for the vineyard team. It started with moderate winter temperatures and below average rainfall. Spring came early and was also relatively warm and dry. The weather continued to warm up towards Christmas and we experienced average maximum temperatures of 30°C and 35°C for December and January respectively! Fortunately, we had some rain during December which pepped the vines up leading into the critical ‘veraison’ period over Christmas and into January.
With all of the hot, dry weather the grapes ripened quickly and we started picking earlier than ever before (19 January). We had a crazy month of harvesting where we processed 78 tons of grapes from the farm including 11 different varieties. Harvest ended as quickly as it had begun and by 19 February we had picked all of the grapes for Keermont wines. Topside yield 2016: 3.4ton/Ha
Alc: 14.5 %
TA: 5.2 g/L
RS: 3.4 g/L
TSO2: 50 mg/L
VA: 0.72 g/L
TOPSIDE SYRAH 15: 96 TIM ATKIN (MW)
TOPSIDE SYRAH 15: 4 ½ stars PLATTER GUIDE
TOPSIDE SYRAH 15: 94 pts NEAL MARTIN
TOPSIDE SYRAH 14: 93 pts NEAL MARTIN (Wine Advocate)
TOPSIDE SYRAH 14: 95 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
TOPSIDE SYRAH 14: 5 stars PLATTER GUIDE 2017
TOPSIDE SYRAH 12: 95 pts TIM ATKIN (MW)
TOPSIDE SYRAH 12: 94 pts NEAL MARTIN (Wine Advocate)
TOPSIDE SYRAH 12: 4½ stars PLATTER GUIDE