2012 Pierneef Syrah Viognier
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This wine is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Viognier. The Syrah component is from Elim (50, Walker Bay (30 and Franschhoek (9 while the Viognier originates from Franschhoek.
A number of factors caused a lower than average yield for the 2012 vintage. Grapes of especially dry-land vineyards lost weight later in the season. The growing season was fairly cool, except during late January, when the temperature rose above 40 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days, followed, a few days later, by two more days of above 40 degrees. Overall it was a favourable year, with reds showing good colour and intense flavour.
The Elim vineyards grow in duplex soils with a high content of ferrocrete (coffee stone), the Walker Bay vineyards in shallow shale and the Franschhoek vineyards in deep, sandy, decomposed granite. Cool conditions in the Elim area resulted in a naturally low yield of about 5 tons/ha. Yield of the Walker Bay vineyards was also low because of dry and windy conditions and shallow shale soils. The Franschhoek Viognier was chosen because of its late ripening and was picked together with the Syrah, for the grapes to be fermented together.
Grapes from the various Syrah vineyards were harvested at different times, but always together with some Viognier. The grapes were hand-sorted and then fermented without stems. Regular pump-overs were performed during fermentation at approximately 25 degrees Celsius.
Good colour and tight, concentrated tannins from the Walker Bay area are combined with spicy, intensely flavoured wine from Elim and elegant, juicy wine from Franschhoek, to produce a wine full of flavour and complexity. The nose reflects raspberry and cranberry fruit with liquorice and green pepper spice. The splash of Viognier adds a rose-petal perfume. A vintage with a good concentration.
Residual sugar 3,1 g/l
Total acid 6,1 g/l