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Stark-Conde Three Pines Syrah 2016


Tasting Notes

About this wine: This is our smallest production wine, from an older block of just 22 rows. When we make up the blend we concentrate on the texture — one critic described it as “having the texture of crushed violets” — we know that with a few years in the bottle the aromas and flavours unfurl beautifully. This wine is based on our “Block 6” of Syrah, our oldest Syrah vineyard. The vineyard block is contiguous with our Block 5 Cabernet Sauvignon, it is from the same bench of soil — a very finely textured decomposed granite with a fairly high proportion of clay that contributes to good water retention.

Technical info: The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested in late-February. After being cooled overnight to 14 degrees C., they were carefully hand-sorted and crushed into small open fermentation vats and allowed to cold-soak for several days. A small portion was left whole bunch and also uncrushed. Regular, vigorous punch downs were given every 4-6 hours for the first half of fermentation, then every 6-8 hours thereafter. At dryness, the wine was basket pressed and racked directly to barrel for malolactic fermentation and subsequent barrel maturation for 20 months. A mix of coopers was used, all French oak, all 300 liter, mostly second-fill and about 40% new. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 22 months barrel maturation.

Winemaker’s notes: The 2016 vintge was a dry year which resulted in intensely aromatic wines with velvety tannin structure. On our Three Pines Syrah we always focus on the texture — the “mouthfeel” — and the fine balance between power and elegance. It is not an “in your face” style: it shows pretty floral notes with slight pepperiness and the palate is smooth and polished with a long elegant finish — what one critic described as “having the texture of crushed violets”. Total production: 3245 bottles


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Scores & Reviews

4 ½ Stars 2019 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Dry 16 (93 pts) vintage is rich & generous but also shows restraint, suppleness. Nuanced black fruit, spice, cocoa & graphite. Basket pressed with portion whole bunch, supportively oaked (French 40% new, 22 months). Like other reds, unfined/unfiltered.


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