The Circumstance Syrah from Waterkloof in Somerset West goes largely unsung but I think it’s establishing itself as one of the best renditions in the country, the yet-to-be released 2015 a wonderfully elegant effort on the part of winemaker Nadia Barnard.
Her approach was to apply 100% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation for 19 months in older 600-litre barrels and the result is a wine of lightness (alcohol is a mere 12.5%) yet intricacy. The nose is intensely fragrant with notes of lavender, violets and roses to go with red fruit, pepper and spice. The palate meanwhile displays great fruit purity, lively acidity and fine tannins. A bit slighter than the outstanding 2013 but this gives it almost water-like refreshment value.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
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