As featured in the July issue of Business Day WANTED: Born and raised in France, to a family of Calvados producers, Christophe Durand moved to Cape Town in 1995, where he set himself up as a barrel importer. Although not a trained winemaker, he could not resist making some wine and his first effort was a Syrah 2001, named Ameena after his eldest daughter.
The 2008 is a blend of grapes, 50% from Stellenbosch and 50% Elgin, Durand’s motivation for sourcing from two such disparate growing areas being to increase the range of flavour, Stellenbosch providing more black fruit, Elgin more spice and pepper.
The wine spent 18 months in French oak, 40% new and is remarkable for its delicacy and freshness. Do South Africans understand the style? “It was difficult in the beginning, but more and more they like it”, he reports. Even so, 85% of the 20 000 bottles that Durand makes (which also includes a Chardonnay and a Chenin Blanc) is exported so getting your hands on any of his stuff is a little tricky but well worth it. Approximate retail price of Cuvée Ameena Syrah 2008: R150. For more information, tel 021 683 7479, email Christophe@vinsdorrance.co.za