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Stark-Conde Three Pines Syrah 2017


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 flavors 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: This is a single-vineyard wine from our highest elevation Syrah vineyard, a small block contiguous to our single-vineyard Cabernet. 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. 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 2017 vintage was a warm and dry year which resulted in intensely aromatic wines with velvety tannin structure and good concentration of fruit. 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: 3370 bottles


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Scores & Reviews

4 ½ Stars 2020 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Iron fist in a velvet glove, 17 (94 pts) like nuanced 16 (93 pts), has leashed power cloaked by sexy violet-tinged black fruit & brooding inky notes. Balance of fruit & oak (22 months, 30% new) is superb. Like most of the reds, bottled unfined/filtered.

92 pts Wine Spectator 5/31/20

Pure, elegant and charming, featuring floral notes of violet and hibiscus tea that glide along, with a core of blueberry and açaí berry flavors. Vibrant acidity flows through, giving this focus and energy, while well-integrated tannins provide backbone. Long finish. Drink now through 2029. 1,362 cases made, 250 cases imported.

92 pts Decanter

From a 27-year-old vineyard, the grapes were part destemmed and the wine matured in 300-litre French oak barrels (40% new) then bottled unfiltered and unfined, with 2% Petite Sirah blended in. It has a lifted, spicy fragrance, with cinnamon joining the berry fruits. Soft in the mouth, it’s not overly structured and has a good sense of purity and cool, inner freshness. A quietly elegant, highly drinkable Syrah.”


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