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Reyneke Syrah 2014 - 94 points from a South African 'First Growth'

£16.95 £13.50
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South Africa must be one of the world's most exciting wine regions at the moment! Young, innovative winemakers are ripping up the old ways of doing things and discovering fantastic new terroir that can produce world-class wines.

Reyneke, considered by critic Tim Atkin to be a 'First Growth' of South African winemaking, is firmly amongst the leaders in this new wave of producers, making beautiful wines that clearly express the land they were grown on.

One of just a few biodynamic producers in South Africa, Reyneke was founded with an absolute dedication to organic and biodynamic wine making. They make wines with as little intervention as possible - no commercial yeasts, no artificial additives, no added acidity or fermentation aids - just the wine, made as naturally as they can.

The result is this wonderful, complex Syrah produced from ocean-facing granite soils on the Reyneke farm. Sophisticated and elegant, owing more to the Northern Rhone than it does the New World, at just £13.50, it is quite possibly South Africa's finest value Syrah!

About the wine

The nose is aromatic and perfumed, with concentrated notes of raspberries and cherries and hints of herbs and lowers. The complex nose follows through with spicy undertones of cloves and white pepper. The palate is fresh and vibrant with great tannic structure and a long finish. Layers of red fruit and spices, with savoury notes in the background, result in a wine that is extremely well balanced and will drink well from now on until about 022.

All the Syrah grapes are handpicked and hand sorted. 30% are whole bunches and are foot crushed into concrete Nomblot tanks, after which the other 70% is destemmed over the whole bunches. Spontaneous, natural fermentation occurs with minimal punch downs and pump overs. Natural secondary fermentation occurs in 2nd and 3rd fill French casks and in 2500 ltr Foudres. The wine ages for 16 months in oak and another 3 months in stainless steel, before bottling.

Winemaker: Rudiger Gretschel
Appellation: Stellenbosch

- 94pts, Tim Atkin
- 17/20pts, JancisRobinson.com
- 4.5/5 Stars, Platter's Wine Guide
- 3.6/5 Stars, Vivino Rating

Grapes: 100% Syrah
Vineyard: Reyneke vineyards
Cooperage: 16 months in oak then 3 months in stainless steel
ABV: 14%
Drink: 2018-2022

About the winery

The Reyneke label was created in 1998 when Johan Reyneke Jr. took over the farming activities from his mother and produced the first wines on the family farm Uitzicht. The 20ha farm faces the historic town of Stellenbosch and overlooks the surrounding mountain ranges and the beautiful False Bay.

Since inception, Johan has moved from farming conventionally to farming organically and finally to farming and producing his wines in accordance with biodynamic principles. He is currently one of only a few winemakers in South Africa who produce biodynamic wines and is considered somewhat of a ground-breaker in this regard.

The aim for Reyneke has always been to express the uniqueness of the farm's situation into the bottle - the deep soil dotted with early stone-age hand axe, the vines (some 40 years old) and the crisp upland air. Reyneke believes that it is impossible to sense terroir if you are constantly changing it with chemicals.

The intention here is to interfere as little as possible to allow nature to be the real maker of the wine and to truly produce terroir-specific wines of the highest quality. 

About the vineyard

This bio-dynamic Syrah is produced on Reyneke's own vineyards facing the ocean and grown in granite soils.

Reyneke's vineyards are herbicide, pesticide and fungicide free. Just like any organic vineyard should be.

Instead of spraying weeds with poison, they carefully select and grow companion plants amongst their vines to outcompete the weeds. These companion plants have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, help break up compacted soil or even harbour a beneficial insect or two.

While all sorts of poisons are usually used to combat pests, they simply release their natural predators, like ducks – there’s nothing more delicious for a duck than a good, juicy snail.

No poison leaching into the grapes. No expensive fertiliser because the ducks do that job. Everyone’s happy!



94 Points - Tim Atkin
"Winemaker Rudiger Gretschel seems to have a special touch with Syrah, using foudres and some foot-trodden whole bunches to create layers of complexity. This granitic, ocean-facing site has produced a very pithy, elegant wine, with lavender and pepper spice and scented blackberry fruit."


17/20 Points - Richard Hemming
Edgy, earthy, fragrant and rubbery - very distinctive and vibrant." 

4.5/5 Stars
"...restrained glimpses of spice & a brisk, relatively unyielding palate. The maturation time it deserves will increase the flow, texture and inimitable spice, ripe berries & herby character that distinguish this great-value shiraz."

"That's one hell of a good wine!"  4/5 Stars

"You want to try a unique Syrah, this is the one for you. Keep returning and not keeping some to see if it can get better!"  4/5 Stars

"Aromas of sweet red plums at first followed by red berries liquorice cinamon and subtle spicyness. This wine oozes rich fruity juices with spicy tanins. Although it is great to drink now it will mature to something special over the next 5 years. 4/5 Stars

"Great syrah! Reyneke truly proves organic wines are the only and best future! Elegant, not too overwhelming like some new world wines! Tannins medium soft! Some light tobacco, dark berries, and a hint of chocolate! Yet, first and foremost this is a wine to remember! What a class, taste and well balanced experience. 5/5 Stars

Other Details

Brilliant biodynamic Syrah from Reyneke - One of South Africa's best values!
94pt Syrah from South Africa - Pure, Organic & Delicious
"This granitic, ocean-facing site has produced a very pithy, elegant wine, with lavender and pepper spice and scented blackberry fruit." Tim Atkin
"Edgy, earthy, fragrant and rubbery - very distinctive and vibrant." jancisrobinson.com
One of just a few biodynamic producers in South Africa, Reyneke make wines with as little intervention as possible - no commercial yeasts, no artificial additives, no added acidity or fermentation aids - just the wine, made as naturally as they can.
2018-02-18 23:59:59
#review=Tim Atkin:
#stars_review=Platter's Wine Guide:
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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