2017 Olifantsberg Syrah
Olifantsberg Family Vineyards is less than an hour's drive from Cape Town, in the middle of South Africa's Breedekloof wine region. This small, five-hectare wine estate has been owned by the Dutch Leeuwerik family since 2003. The vineyards of Olifantsberg lie on the slopes of the Brandwacht Mountains. Thanks to the high altitude and the almost constantly blowing wind, there is a cool microclimate. Ideal conditions for the production of top quality grapes! The vineyard is worked with respect for nature. The vines are fertilized organically and the yield in the vineyard is deliberately kept low. All this with the aim of harvesting optimally ripe, healthy and concentrated grapes of high quality. After the manual harvest, these grapes are taken to the newly built vinification cellar. Here too, winemaker Jacques de Plessis lets nature do its work. After crushing the grapes, a traditional soaking of skins follows and the grapes are fermented. After this they are aged in oak barrels of which about a third is renewed every year. The wines of Olifantsberg are therefore perfectly balanced with nicely dosed oak in aroma and taste.
The Olifantsberg estate contains almost exclusively grape varieties such as those found in the northern and southern Rhône, so a pure Syrah cannot be missed here. The Olifantsberg Syrah thus has a hermitage-like character but with a Priorat influence because the wines have more minerality due to the unique slate terroir and are more spicy. The fact that South Africa lends itself very well to Syrah is not new, but the price/quality of this Syrah is very attractive and, in our humble opinion, can be better than many much more expensive Australian Syrah. The wine is a beautiful dark red in the glass. This wine has all the hallmarks of a Syrah class. Nice spiciness and nice fresh acidity. Lots of ripe fruit. Nice balance. The wine has fine-grained but ripe tannins. The wine is now excellent to drink, but can also mature for a number of years.
Press wine ****(*) very good/excellent
Tim Atkin : 93/100
Featuring the addition of 4% Carignan, this increasingly impressive Syrah comes from one of the most exciting terroirs in the Breedekloof. Serious, stony, ageworthy and quite closed at the moment, it has layers of meaty, savory, dark berry flavours, some herbal spice, grippy tannins and very well handled oak. Needs time. 2023-27
Platters: Syrah 2017 ****(*) 94/100
Understated but powerful 2017 steps up on 2016 (4 stars, 89 pts). Echalas vines, portion wholebunch & open ferment lead to complex, herb-tinged spicy mouthful of black fruit reminiscent of the Rhone. Structured, textured, broad & long from combo barrels, casks & foudres, 5% new.
The Great Hammersma: 9/10
Syrah feels at ease in Breedekloof's terroir. Moreover, know that they are in the good hands of the Leeuwerik couple that their predilection for rhône grapes is not hidden. Also try their grenache noir and grenache blanc. Here in the blend with a splash of (4%) carignan, and yes, it also feels at home in that zip code. Fleshy but transparent. Dark fruit, the very own Syrah pepper. Slim, juicy, clean. Blackberries, plums, Mon Chérie cherry, a stroll along The Spice Route and wonderful acids. A hint of smokiness and a crunch of nut. Northern Rhone flirts with South Africa.
Olifantsberg Family Vineyards is less than an hour's drive from Cape Town, in the heart of the Breedekloof wine region in South Africa. This small, 5 hectare winery has been in the hands of the Dutch Leeuwerik family since 2003. The Olifantsberg vineyards lie on the slopes of the Brandwacht Mountains. Thanks to the high altitude and the almost constant blowing wind, there is a cool microclimate.
Ideal conditions for the production of top quality grapes! The vineyard works with respect for nature. The vines are organically fertilized and the yield in the vineyard is deliberately kept low. All this with the aim of harvesting optimally ripe, healthy and concentrated grapes of high quality. After the manual harvest, these grapes are brought to the newly built vinification cellar. Here too, winemaker Elizma Visser lets nature do its job. After crushing the grapes, a traditional peel maceration follows and the grapes are fermented. After this they are aged in oak barrels, of which approximately one third is renewed annually. The Olifantsberg wines are therefore perfectly balanced with beautifully dosed oak in aroma and taste.
The fact that we are talking about a great winery here is evident from the fact that their wines receive very favorable reviews. The Silhouette won gold in 2015 at the most prestigious wine competition in South Africa, namely The OLD MUTUAL TROPHY WINE SHOW and won the 1st prize for Best Shiraz-based blend and received no less than 94/100 points. This is very special for a young winery such as Olifantsberg. In addition to the focus on quality, low yields and passion, it certainly plays a role that these wines receive these high ratings. In contrast to, for example, Stellenbosch, which is on the other side of the gorge, this is the Breedekloof an almost Priorat-like terroir with a lot of slate. This explains the beautiful mineral tones in the Olifantsberg wines.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Drinking as of||2020|
|Tasting Profiles||Earthy, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Spicy, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard|