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.”
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.
The 2017 vintge was a warm and dry year which resulted in intensely aromatic wines with velvety tannin structure and good ceoncentrationf 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”.
Details of vinification and oaking:
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 punchdowns 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 malo-lactic fermentation and subsequent barrel maturation. A mix of coopers was used, all French oak, all 300 litre, mostly second-fill and about 40% new. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 22 months barrel maturation.