Over the weekend a bottle of Syrah 2012 from new Somerset West winery Lithos was thrust upon me. Always daunting as it’s no fun dashing hopes and crushing dreams but in this case the wine is top-notch.
Lithos, situated above Journey’s End on the Hottentots Holland mountains, is owned by venture capitalist Sean Emery and he has installed Tim Hoek, previously assistant winemaker at Jordan in Stellenbosch, as viticulturist and winemaker. There are currently all of 3ha under vineyard, 2.1 ha of which are Syrah.
The cool-climate location of the vineyards is immediately evident in the end-result. Red and black fruit, intense pepper, lilies and fynbos. It’s properly medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. The finish long, the overall impression savoury rather than sweet. The wine was matured for 16 months in oak, 40% new and some might feel that this was too ambitious but I think it lends just the right amount of extra dimension. Total production: 125 cases. Price: R130 a bottle.