False Bay Old School Syrah

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False Bay Vineyards
Grape Varieties
Optimum Drinking
Within 4 years
Wine Style
Restrained yet juicy Syrah
Alcohol by Volume
South Africa
Style / Colour

The One-Liner

Very smart varietal Syrah, savoury but polished and seriously appealing.

Tasting Note

Dark garnet with a violet rim. Fresh lifted berry fruit that draws you in! Full yet elegant with bramble fruit aromas, cassis and black cherry flavours on the palate and a touch of white pepper spice (more in the northern Rhone mould than Barossa brawn) - structure provided by fine tannins with a long rich, ripe finish.

Producer Details

Established by Paul Boutinot, False Bay Vineyards is a company that has grown out of many years of involvement in South Africa, which began at a time when their wines and potential was just being recognised. With knowledge and respect within the South African wine industry, Paul Boutinot has been able to source top quality grapes for the re-launch of False Bay. First discovered by sailors confusing it for Table Bay to the north, False Bay has long been a haven for those navigating the treacherous Cape of Good Hope. The cool coastal breeze which sweeps off the Indian Ocean temper the ripening process, extend the growing season and produce expressive wines with more precise varietal characters and purity. These lifted aromas make the wines accessible, perfectly balanced and full flavoured.

In The Vineyard

In recent years Shiraz has been seen by many as embodying the future for South African wine at the highest level. However, one general deficiency is the lack of good texture and a tendency for solid wines without much elegance. Boutinot believe it should not be all about the big, gutsy wine that many see as its main character. Specifically they were looking for vineyards sites that could produce wines with notable elegance and freshness, allied to a fine texture. Although there will always be those who prefer Barossa brawn to Northern Rhône refinement, this was not what they set out to achieve. Intensive viticultural research revealing that the area of Paarl was superbly suited for Shiraz, complemented their own findings, having been active in the area since 1994. With an average summer temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, the areas climate is often compared to the Rhone Valley in Southern France. The deep soils are high in clay content, which is excellent for water retention. It seems that the remark “the best soils are the worst soils” holds true as these gravel based vineyards restrict the variety’s natural vigour. The wet, cold winters and warm dry summers ensures that Shiraz vines have enough water available to ripen the grapes without being too vigorous. It is therefore no surprise that it is in the Paarl winegrowing region where South Africa’s first Shiraz festival was held in 2006 and also where the annual Shiraz challenge takes place.

In The Winery

The prevailing idea among many South African winemakers that Shiraz needs new wood is incorrect in Boutinot's opinion. Only 2nd and 3rd fill small French barrels were used for the portion of the final blend that was barrel matured. A splash of Wellington-sourced Mourvèdre (clear, young vine fruit and as complementary to Shiraz here as in the Rhône) has added further dimension to the blend. However, we still believe our approach is a matter of “terroir” over “style”. The grapes were harvested at 24.5 Balling. After de-stemming, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation was allowed to start without the addition of cultured yeasts. With the onset of fermentation, pump-overs took place 3 times per day. Towards the end of fermentation the number of pump overs was reduced to ensure that no harsh, dry tannins were extracted. Fermentation took place at temperatures of 26 to 30 degrees (at the height of fermentation). The wine was drained from the skins after fermentation was completed. No press juice was added to the wine.

Food Recommendations

Ideal with spicy dishes, red meats and rich Mediterranean dishes.

Awards & Press

2012 Vintage: Sommelier Wine Awards 2013 - Bronze

2010 Vintage: Sommelier Wine Awards 2012 - Silver

2010 Vintage : Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 - Bronze

2012 Vintage: " 'Bright, ripe and intense, with bramble fruit, red cherry and a touch of herbs. Fun and fruity but with a serious side,' said Laura Ward's Vivat Bacchus." Sommelier Wine Awards 2013, Judges Comments

Vintage 2010: "Hints of smoke and buckets of plums and blackcurrants give a lovely mouthfeel to this rich, juicy wine, with its fruity, creamy finish. 'A flavour bomb!' said consultant Sarah Jane Evans MW." Sommelier Wine Awards 2012 2010 Vintage: "Cedar, vanilla, salt and meat with big, bold fruit. the Paarl winegrowing region where South Africa’s first Shiraz festival was held in 2006 and also where the annual Shiraz challenge takes place. Taut tannins." Decanter 'The Results' edition, October 2011

The technical information on this wine is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. This information may be subject to change according to vintage

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