The Syrah 2012 from Stellenbosch property Oldenburg Vineyards received a gold medal as well as being judged the best example from South Africa at the recent International Wine Challenge. High-profile UK wine critic Tim Atkin is co-chairman of this competition and he insists that gold is equivalent to at least 95 on the 100-point scale so this wine must be considered a serious proposition.
So what did I make of it? It does indeed tick all the boxes of top-end Syrah. Red and black fruit, purple flowers, pepper and spice. Powerful and polished with super-concentrated fruit, bright acidity and a smooth texture (15% abv and 18 months in 75% French and 25% American oak, 50% new). Immaculately executed but not a wine to put a song in your heart or a tear in your eye. Price: R200 a bottle.