2016 Waterkloof Circumstance Syrah
Waterkloof, founded by the Frenchman Paul Boutinot, is located in the 'ward' Helderberg, within the Stellenbosch district. The vineyards are located a few kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean. Paul and his right-hand man, Christiaan Loots, work in an organic and biodynamic way and the vineyards are only entered with horses, no tractors. In just a few years, Waterkloof has built up a strong reputation.
When you enter the farm you will see the cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and horses that we use for their manure, weed control and many other purposes. The soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own natural compost. By healthier soils, we mean vines with roots that dig deeper than 5 meters, which really expresses the terroir.
Under the name Circumstance, Waterkloof makes a fantastic Syrah which, when tasted blind with your eyes closed, can be just a Northern Rhône wine, but a lot more pleasant in price.
Syrah is the red wine variety prevalent in the northern Rhone Valley. There are a number of legends associated with Syrah's origins, all of which add a touch of romance to the grape and today it ranks as the 6th most widely planted grape variety in the world. It is extremely versatile; adapts well to a wide range of regions and expresses a real sense of terroir.
The vineyard used for the Circumstance Syrah is planted on the southern slopes of the Sheep Mountain at an altitude of 240 to 260 meters above sea level and only 4 km from the Atlantic Ocean. Strong southeast winds help control growth and crop yield. Our Syrah vines thrive in granite soils, just like in most appellations in the northern Rhone. Production was about 5 tons/ha.
At Waterkloof, we pride ourselves on not spraying chemical herbicides or pesticides into our vineyards. We produce our own compost and biodynamic preparations, which we then apply with our workhorses, as opposed to heavy tractors. These practices provide loose soil with more life, where the vines can spread their roots at will; absorb everything they need from our rich and complex earth. We believe that biodynamic farming and winemaking contribute to terroir-driven wines that are truly made in the vineyard.
The Syrah grapes are picked by hand, refrigerated overnight and processed the next morning. The grapes are not de-stemmed and all bunches are individually assessed to ensure that only the top quality fruit is gravity fed into open wooden fermenters. Fermentation takes place using only the natural yeasts (this is possible because at Waterkloof no poison is used). The berries are stirred two to three times a day to ensure that the stems do not break too quickly and the tannins are extracted slowly and gently. The wine is aged for 19 months in used 600 liter French oak barrels before being bottled.
The Circumstance Syrah has a particularly deep color and has beautiful and clean notes of dark berries and earthy notes infused with cocoa, tobacco, coffee and dried fruit. The fruit is supported by a fresh acidity and soft balanced tannins. Elegant with a lot of length with a long, slightly sultry aftertaste
Syrah is one of the most versatile wines to pair with food. This particular vintage is perfect with rabbit or duck.
Founded by the Frenchman Paul Boutinot, Waterkloof is located in the 'ward' Helderberg, within the Stellenbosch district. The vineyards are located a few kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean. Paul and his right-hand man, Christiaan Loots, work in an organic and biodynamic way and the vineyards are only entered with horses, no tractors. In just a few years, Waterkloof has built up a strong reputation. When you enter the farm you will see the cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and horses that we use for their manure, weed control and many other purposes. The soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own natural compost. By healthier soils we mean vines with roots that dig deeper than 5 meters, which really expresses the terroir.
These traditional methods, combined with a breezy southwest vineyard, make for a balanced and naturally low yielding vine that produces intense flavours. The vineyards are located about 5 kilometers from the sea and are planted at an altitude between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium sized stones, which aid in drainage and also moisture retention. The vineyards are on average 21 years old.
The winemaking philosophy is the same for all of Waterkloof's premium white wines. They follow a traditional, minimalistic approach, which means we interfere with the winemaking process as little as possible. This allows the flavors prevalent in that particular vineyard to be reflected in the wine. To achieve this, all grapes are harvested for taste, hand-picked, hand-sorted and finally pressed whole bunch in a modern press, so that they can extract the purest juice in the gentlest possible way. The juice is then naturally settled for 24 hours. Because no chemicals are sprayed into the vineyard, the wild yeast can be used to ferment the juice in used 600 liter oak barrels. This leads to a longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more textured palate. The natural fermentation process took 6 months, after which the wine is allowed to mature for another 2-4 months. No acid or enzymes are added during the winemaking process, with just light filtration and a small minimalistic addition of sulfur as a preservative prior to bottling.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Drinking as of||2019|
|Tasting Profiles||Earthy, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Spicy, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard|