2011 Reyneke Syrah Stellenbosch South Africa

SKU #1133984 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Top Three Best Value Reds of 2013 - If you’re busy complaining about the extortionate prices asked for the Rhone’s top wines, then it is time to do yourself a favour and check some of the outstanding wines from South Africa. This fabulous Syrah is yours for just $25.00 The 2011 Syrah underwent a natural ferment and is raised in used oak. The bouquet is wonderfully controlled with black cherries, blueberry and iodine gently unfolding in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a complex opening of blackberry, undergrowth, licorice, honey and cassis all vying for attention. It is extremely well-balanced but the powerful finish needs a couple of years to be tempered and find its groove. There is huge potential here. Drink 2015-2025. Reyneke - I had expressed my admiration for these wines in previous South Africa reports. Winemaker Rudiger Gretschel creates intellectual, thought provoking, biodynamically produced wines that you as much experience as drink. These are wines of character and charm and the newest crop of releases are as impressive as ever.

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red-ruby. High-toned, expressive aromas of musky red berries and spicecake. Sweet, rich and deep, with spicy red and darker berry flavors complicated by a meaty nuance. This pliant syrah finishes with big, dusty tannins and noteworthy persistence.  (6/2013)

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Price: $24.99
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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.