This aptly named Strandveld First Sighting Shiraz comes from the Southern most winery in South Africa. The vineyards are just 9 kilometres from the sea, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean off Cape Agulhas.
Your attention is immediately drawn by fresh blackberry and blackcurrant aromas tinged with spicy black pepper and fynbos notes. It has juicy black fruit flavours with savoury tannins, subtle toasted oak and a long spicy finish. This is a classy, smooth and structured shiraz from cool climate Elim.
At almost 35 degrees below the equator, the maritime climate has below average temperatures for the Cape. Here, the winds can be so strong that vineyard workers find it hard to stand up! “Strandveld” refers to the coastal belt of land which spans the coastline around Africa’s tempestuous southernmost tip at Cape Agulhas. It is characterised by severe wind, mist and cool temperatures. This confluence of maritime climate, varying site and soil types create the diversity of terroir that distinguishes the wines of Strandveld Vineyards.
Conrad Vick, winemaker at Strandveld since 2004, focuses on producing excellent quality grapes in this cool climate. Yields are low, the grapes ripen slowly and the berries are small; as a result the wines have intense flavours. The 69 hectares estate and winery was established in 2001, and already the winery has achieved many awards. The 2016 vintage of this wine won a Platinum Medal at the Michelangelo International Awards last year. We think that this 2017 vintage is just as good.
About this vintage
The winter of 2016 was cold and dry, but Strandveld’s own water dams were full, enabling irrigation at optimum times. The Spring was very late with less wind than normal and this pattern continued into the Summer which was perfect for the vineyards flowering and berry set in November. February 2017 onwards was dry with cool South-Easterly winds, providing perfect ripening conditions. We think this has been captured in this fresh Shiraz blend which leans towards a Rhone style. It has been matured for 12 months in 15% new French oak barrels with the balance matured in second, third and fourth fill barrels.
Food match: Pork roasts and grills; Roasted vegetables; mediterranean style foods