Steenberg Farm, one of the oldest granted in the Constantia Valley was the property of Catherina Ras. Widow Ras had a number of husband’s who died from anything from being trampled by an elephant to being speared by a local. She rather reminds me of the words of Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Ernest where, upon hearing both of his parents are dead, she said to Mr Worthing. “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. Widow Ras lost 5. Steenberg Farm lives on and under Cellarmaster JD Pretorius continues to make some of the finest wines to come out of the Cape. The Steenberg Syrah 2015 is one of them.
The grapes for the Steenberg Syrah 2015 come from vines planted on the estate between 19 and 13 years ago. Planted on trellis in Oakleaf, Clovelly and Avalon soils, the vines delivered in 2015, 7.6 tons per hectare.
Harvesting by hand took place four times during the ideal ripeness window and the batches were separately vinified by JD Pretorius and his team. The grapes were destalked and crushed and then subjected to 5 days of cold soaking on the skins followed by 15 days fermentation. During fermentation gentle pump overs took place twice a day to allow the grapes to give up colour, aroma, flavour and gentle tannins. After fermentation, the wine was taken to 500 litre French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and then 19 months maturation. Of the barrels 30% of them were new while the balance was made up of previous fill 2nd, 3rd and 4th barrels.
The Steenberg Syrah 2015 was racked out of the barrels and given a light fining before being bottled in November 2016.
It looks like
Bottled under natural cork in a Burgundy shaped bottle with the elegant, yet simple livery. In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby at the core and pales out to garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Roadside brambles and clove-spiced plums, the elegant oak in undertow.
It tastes like
The wine is medium of body from entry through an impressive mid palate into a long and gently waning aftertaste. Generously fruited, mulberries, blackberries and ripe full flavoured juicy plums. Sparky thread of round acidity, cashmere clad tannins and touch of oak smoke all interwoven into the aftertaste. Really special wine.
It’s good with
A great glass on its own after a meal. It loves all red meats and would be happy with seared tuna served hot or in a salad. Ina Paarman’s Lamb’s Liver with Bacon and Gravy brings back such happy memories of liver for lunch on Saturday we had as children and then as adults we served it with mashed avocado and balsamic onions. Click here for her recipe.
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