Stellenzicht Arenite Syrah 2018

By , 6 May 2021

Stellenzicht is a going concern again after German businessman Baron Hans von Staff-Reitzenstein, also an investor in Ernie Els Wines acquired the Stellenbosch property in 2017. No pressure on the winemaking team when it comes to the Syrah – the 1994 from here famously rated higher than the 1990 vintage of the iconic Grange Hermitage in the epic SAA Shield tasting of 1995 and is rightfully legendary.

The vineyard that supplies grapes for the newly released 2018 is cultivated from cuttings from the original site that produced the 1994 vintage. Winemaking involved approximately half the grapes undergoing whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 17 months in mainly older oak.

Rather than recalling any of the new-wave examples of the variety coming out of South Africa, it is much like the wines from this property from days of yore. Blackberries, violets, black pepper, earth, and a hint of smoky reduction on the nose while the palate has good depth of fruit, punchy acidity, and crunchy, almost raspy tannins. It’s got plenty of weight and power (alcohol is 14.79%) and while it’s a rendition that might be a bit out of fashion, there’s something quite satisfying about it. Price: R225 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Also available is the Silcrete Cinsault 2019, grapes from a 28-year-old Voor Paardeberg vineyard, vinification pretty much as for the Syrah. Red cherry and plums on the nose while the palate has nice volume – plenty of juicy fruit and quite delicate tannins (alcohol: 13.39%). It’s likeable if a bit safe and not cheap at R300 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 89/100.  

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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