Deep rich red / purple in the glass, this wine reflects the bright fruit flavours of mulberry and blueberry. Its perfume of smoky spices, pepper and woodland undertones, gives way to a well-structured palate, sumptuous, full of flavour with a smooth decadent, lingering dark chocolate finish. A great match with and beef, venison and spiced lamb dishes, blue cheese and even dark chocolate pots.
Decanter World Wines Award: Gold 2014
Residual Sugar: 2.7 g/l
Total Acidity: 6.3 g/l
Harvested by hand on 5th, 7th and 9th March 2012
Total production: 10,740 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: September 2013
Ageing potential: 10-12 years
Harvested on 3 different days, picking at optimum ripeness, the fruit was transported to the winery, processed and transferred to stainless steel tanks. Dry ice was added to the fruit processed on 5th and 7th to slow down oxidation and help keep the fruit cool. It was then left to ‘cold soak’ for two days by which time the juice had taken on an intense purple colour and aromas of blackcurrent and mint. The wine was fermented in the tanks, with twice daily pump-overs to aerate the wine and supply oxygen to the yeast. The wine was then moved to 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels and left to mature for 15 months.
The fruit processed on the 9th was put in a separate tank as whole bunches. It did not undergo ‘cold-soak’. The must was inoculated and left to ferment dry, after which the wine was left on the skins for a few days, giving extended skin contact. It was pressed and put into barrel to age, with blending in early 2013.
The Syrah vines were planted in 2007 on the north facing slope at 240 meters elevation. Syrah is known for its spicy and smoky flavours coming from the oak barrels and the clones selected. Clones SH1C and SH21K give the resulting wine a berry profile with spicy undertones. Clone SH9C also gives a smoky and spicy profile but given that it is used in only a small part of the Syrah vineyard, (with only 1.3 tons of the total 15 tons -10%) it has a big impact on the whole production. This clone is also part of the selection for the magnums to be released in late 2015.
Seven Springs Syrah was excellent in the previous 2010 vintage, but I confess that this Gold Medal winner is even better and is a hugely promising portent as the vines age. Deep and vibrant in colour, the nose is just gorgeous, the wisp of cracked stone, the slick of black fruit and the background of flowers – violet creams even – white pepper and gentle earthiness. The palate is flooded with ripe, silky black fruit, but not at all jammy or overblown. Despite 14.5% alcohol, this has genuine freshness with a crispness to the tannin and acid framework, and the pin-point precision of the black fruit pushing through in a finely-tuned finish.