The Syrah 2017 from Swartland producer Jurgen Gouws is his best yet. Grapes from a vineyard planted northeast of Malmesbury on a soil with a high iron content, the resulting wine has tended to have more grunt than its counterpart under the Kolbroek label, grapes for this from vineyards planted on Paardeberg granite.
In the case of the 2017, however, Gouws seems to have achieved a little extra refinement, vinfication involving whole-bunch fermentation, 50% semi-carbonic (whole bunch in a sealed vessel). The nose is most enticing with notes of lavender, purple and black fruit, some earthiness and a sprinkling of white pepper while the palate has a great core of fruit with fresh acidity and just the right amount of tannic grip – alcohol is 13%. Intense yet not weighty. Approximate retail price: R170 a price.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
Grapes for the Chenin Blanc 2017 comes from two untrellised dryland vineyards, one planted in 1980 and the other in 2002, maturation in old oak lasting 10 months. The nose has a top note of hay before pear, peach, naartjie and some earthiness. The palate is lean, fresh and pithy and some might find the wine just a little underdone – alcohol is 12.5%. Price: R170 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.