From Black Elephant Vintners in Franschhoek, the Amistad Syrah (R165 a bottle) is the best wine in the portfolio. Jacques Wentzel adopts a light touch and it shows in the end-result. Grapes are from four different sites in Franschhoek, each contributing something different to the final blend, while in the cellar 15 – 25% percent whole bunches are added to the ferment, skins basket pressed and maturation in a combination of 225-, 300- and 500-litre French oak barrels, 10% new for 12 months and then three months in tank.
There’s some low-level reduction so for once decanting might be useful. Alongside that reduction, however, is lovely red and black fruit, fynbos and pepper. The palate is medium bodied with good fruit definition, fresh acidity and appropriate tannic grip. It’s a nicely understated and entirely drinkable wine – were that more SA Shiraz looked like this.