Cirrus Syrah 2003
Jean Engelbrecht, co-owner of Engelbrecht Els Vineyards in the Helderberg, Stellenbosch has revealed the first wine emerging from a joint venture with Silver Oak of Napa Valley, California, namely Cirrus Syrah 2003.
The Syrah consists of fruit grown at Engelbrecht Els and was made by the property’s winemaker Louis Strydom with input from his Silver Oak counterparts. It has an alcohol by volume of 14.5% and spent 15 months in all new French oak.
The Cirrus back label describes the wine as “transcend(ing) continents in style and character” and Engelbrecht argues that while the wine is very definitely South African any further issues of terroir are beside the point. “Take a typical American consumer living in Dallas, Texas and he won’t necessarily know where Minneapolis, Minnesota is let alone Stellenbosch”.
Total production was 1900 6-bottle cases, of which 1000 will be exported to the US where it is set to sell at between $45 and $50 a bottle. Engelbrecht says he hopes that this endeavour “will bring a new level of acceptance for South African wine” in the important US market. Locally it will only be available from the farm, and goes on sale Saturday 12 November at R350 a bottle.
Silver Oak is owned by the Duncan family and is a specialist Cabernet Sauvignon producer. There are two cellars involved, one in Alexander Valley to accompany the original Napa Valley operation. Current releases are the Alexander Valley 2001 at $60 a bottle and the Napa Valley 2000 at $100 a bottle
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