Being from Adelaide, Syrah/Shiraz is a grape that Mick really enjoys working with. Unlike many of the 'Shiraz' that he made while at the University of Adelaide, this wine has more in common with the 'new wave' or cool climate regions of Australia or better yet Cornas. He believes there are some really special and unique sites planted to Syrah in Stellenbosch. The Faure site is on an easterly aspect facing the Helderberg Mountain. It's proximity to the ocean (a little over 3 kilometres) means it receives a consistent afternoon sea breeze which cools things down during the growing season. Like most of the red wines, Mick is judicious in the use of whole bunch fermentation. This was fermented 100% whole bunches in stainless steel open top tanks. Very gentle pumpovers were all this wine received, to minimize extraction and maintain as many whole bunches as possible. The wine was pressed off after 10 days on skins into old oak puncheons for 10 months. The wine is not fined or filtered and only sees a tiny whiff of sulphur at bottling. Very fresh and floral with lovely dark cherry and black plum fruit. It is still pretty youthful with some supple red fruit and herbs to the fore and underlying crushed stones, with a sprinkle of white pepper.
Pair with Moroccan style lamb barbecue or beef short ribs braised in red wine.
Varietal / Blend: Syrah/Shiraz
Farming Practices: Sustainable
"Our story begins back in 2007 while both 'dragging hose' in Sonoma, California, for the harvest season. A chance meeting between an Aussie and a South African has eventually turned into Craven Wines. After both having taken to the text books at our respective universities, we decided to hit the road, see lots of things, work in lots of places and try and learn as much as possible from this massive wine world. Since meeting we have both been on a similar journey to try and find exactly what we wanted to do. Luckily enough, we had very similar ideas.
So back in 2011 we moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa, a place we both have an affinity for. We both feel Stellenbosch has such an amazing array of sites and terroir, and that it is perfect for what we want to do. Which is make site-specific, honest wines. Let the grapes do the talking.... In terms of 'winemaking' we like to keep things as simple as possible. To try and achieve the wines we want to make, we feel the best methods are being hands off, while being very hands on. In other words we pay serious attention to the wine but we do not manipulate the wine. We believe the best way to express site and fruit is to show just that. We do not use cultured yeasts, enzymes, fining agents, etc. throughout the winemaking process. We only use older oak and try our best to find larger format barrels. We allow our wines to stabilise naturally if they so want to. Essentially a minimal amount of SO2 (which is our friend) is the only thing added to our wines."