2004 Pierneef Syrah Viognier
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The wine is a blend of 89% Shiraz and 11% Viognier. The Shiraz component is from a vineyard in the Darling area and the Viognier originates from a vineyard in the Franschhoek region. This selection was mainly motivated by the fact that the two vineyards ripen exactly together to a desirable degree. This made it possible to ferment the components together.
A cold winter allowed even budding in spring, followed by a relatively cool summer that caused picking to start two weeks later than usual. Only one heat wave, on 4 January, interrupted an otherwise perfect season. The dry summer also prevented disease and the grapes arrived in a healthy condition. Picking started on 19 February 2004.
The Shiraz vineyard in the Darling area grows in deep, fertile soil. The block is trellised and managed to be perfectly in balance regarding leaf cover and yield. Grapes – the first from this oung block – were harvested at 24 degrees Balling. The yield was limited to eight tons per hectare. The Viognier component was also from a young block producing its first grapes. Yield was a low two tons per hectare and the grapes were harvested at 28 degrees Balling.
The two varietals were harvested together and fermented together. The wine was pumped over regularly and fermented at 25 degrees Celsius. After fermentation the wine macerated on the skins for a further two weeks. Malolactic fermentation and maturation took place in second and third fill 225-litre French oak barrels. The wine was matured for 15 months and bottled at La Motte in September 2005.
The Viognier lends an exceptional gentleness to the blend. The palate is elegant and friendly, with mediumfull peach and cherry flavors. Tannins are refreshing and the wine has a very smooth finish.
Alcohol 13,94% vol
Residual sugar 2,0 g/l
Total acid 5,0 g/l