Journey’s End The Griffin Syrah 2012

A step in the right direction.

A step in the right direction.

Journey’s End Vineyards on the Schapenberg is owned by the Gabb family who know a thing or two about selling wine – Roger Gabb founded Western Wines in 1980, the company responsible for the hugely successful Kumala brand.

When you consider the current Journey’s End range, however, it’s not clear what the vision for the property is. Most of what’s on offer is pleasant enough but not very exciting and you have a sense that a farm situated not all that far away from the likes of Morgenster, Vergelegen and Waterkloof should be doing better.

That is until you come to the maiden release of The Griffin Syrah 2012. Winemaker Leon Esterhuizen made a 2 000-litre experimental batch using carbonic maceration, the wine then matured in a combination of 60% new American and 40% used French oak.

On the nose, there’s a note of smoked meat as well as red and black berries. The palate is really succulent with fresh acidity and crunchy tannins. Whereas many of the wines seem stylistically behind the times, this is new wave in the best sense. Price: R200 a bottle.

Score: 91/100.

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  1. Colyn TruterApril 1, 2015 at 10:18 amReply

    sorry meant NOT knowing….

  2. Colyn TruterApril 1, 2015 at 10:17 amReply

    Thanks Christian,

    Although I think you are a bit harsh with the comment of now knowing what the vision is, but listening to both sides of the spectrum on Monday it was a very positive tasting. Do you think the Griffin was standout because it was more funky than the rest? The Cape Doctor 2008 was a standout for me on the day, but that’s my humble opinion.

    Monday showed again the difference between a wine critic/judges palate and the trade/normal consumer prefers and thinks of a wine. It is always great picking your brain and having an open discussion with you. Thank you for the support that you have shown to me in my personal capacity the past three and a half years!


    • Christian EedesApril 1, 2015 at 10:57 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Colyn, While I’ll concede that there is occasionally some divergence between critics and punters, I definitely don’t think that this is always and completely so. To my mind, the Griffin is not that “funky” – what it has going for it is fruit purity and freshness which equals “drinkability” (it would be even better without the American oak which just adds a veneer of sweetness). My instinct is that winemaker Leon Esterhuizen should be given more license to make wines like this.

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