Wandering Beeste Syrah
Region: W.O. Swartland
Pack Size: 6 x 75cl
Closure Type: Cork
Grape Variety: Syrah 100%
You know what to have with this! It's a proper Shiraz that deserves a wonderfully juicy, premium and rare steak!
2016 Vintage – Sommelier Wine Awards 2017, Silver.
Although a team effort, for Winemaker Ryno Booysen Wandering Beeste is all about its ‘sense of place’. “The first time I drove past the vineyard, I spotted a herd of really skinny cows, known as ‘Beeste’ in Afrikaans, wandering amongst the old gnarly vines. This is not a sight you’d expect in a vineyard, let alone one perched high (680m above sea level) on top of South Africa’s Perdeberg Mountain in Swartland, but the farmer has happily let his Nguni cattle graze on this plot of very old, bush vine Shiraz during the winter months for years now, so who am I to question it?”
And this is the point - it’s about the bones of the beast, not the flesh. There's no jam and no heft - it's skinny, structured stuff with breadth, texture and a charmingly rustic gait.
Mineral, fine and uplifting this vintage is another bony Beeste. 50% whole berry, 50% whole bunch, once again it is the bright acidity and fine tannins in the stems that lift the ripe Syrah fruit to a freshness and vitality seldom found in Swartland. The mean, slatey soils give further minerality to the palate which finishes long, broad and bright. Such a delight.
The winemakers' notes:
“These old vines sit on a base of mainly granite soil that intensifies the minerality character of the wine. The vineyard is north facing with moderate sunny days which is great for ripening the grapes. Due to the cool Atlantic Ocean breezes that blow in from the sea each afternoon, the ripening processes is slowed overnight, allowing flavours and characters to develop.
These grapes are a winemaker’s dream! The berries are small which provide great concentration of colour and flavour - for this reason, we allow them to ferment naturally. To capture this ripe fresh fruit, fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and ageing takes place in older 300 litre French barrels where it stays for 10–12 months until it’s perfect for bottling.”