As regular readers of this website might have noticed, I really like the aesthetic that Meerlust winemaker Chris Williams brings to his own-label The Foundry wines.
The current-release Syrah 2008 is not a perfect wine but it is fascinating. From Faure grapes, fermentation started spontaneously and was finished by a neutral Rhône yeast with minimal whole bunch. Maturation meanwhile lasted some 15 months in French oak, 10% new.
A classic nose of red and black berries, lavender and spice and by virtue of being 2008, some developed character. On the palate, good depth of fruit but acidity, though natural, tending to tart. So concerns about balance initially but drinking the wine over the course of the evening, I came to see it as possessing a sweet ‘n sour character which I rather liked.
Williams reveals that the vineyard is cool and relatively high – south facing, 2.5km from False Bay at 90m above sea level – and hence the sometimes “spiky” acidity. “In cooler vintages, the wine presents like a Croze and in warmer vintages, it’s more beefy like a Hermitage.” Approximate retail price: R185 a bottle.