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Oldenburg Vineyards, Rondekop ‘Stone Axe’ Syrah 2021

Oldenburg; a hot topic from a cool climate. Anyone who knows anything about South African wine should have Oldenburg fully on their radar – they are producing outrageously good wine and have, very arguably, the most beautiful tasting room to visit in the Cape. Oldenburg, situated in the Banghoek Valley of Stellenbosch, has one of the coolest microclimates in the region. A combination of a mountain amphitheatre, high altitude and cooling winds result in growing conditions about 5 degrees cooler than the rest of Stellenbosch.

Oldenburg’s ultra-premium Rondekop Series draws its name from; you guessed it… Rondekop, the iconic hill situated in the middle of the Oldenburg property. Whether it’s the single varietal Stone Axe Syrah, Per Se Cabernet Sauvignon or the Rhodium Bordeaux Blend – they are all a small selection of the best barrels coming off Rondekop.

Several Stone Age stone axes, estimated to be at least 100,000 years old, were unearthed on Rondekop – just under the Syrah vines that make this wine were planted. Reasonable explanation for the name then.

Grapes were hand-picked and meticulously hand-sorted before fermentation – 10% whole bunch / 90% whole berries. The whole clusters were footstomped before fermentation, during which 1 to 3 punchdowns were done per day. 18 months of maturation, as well as malolactic conversion, took place in Austrian oak foudres as well as older oak barrels.

Red fruit burst out of the glass – raspberry, dark cherry and redcurrant – before red pepper, star anise, rose petal and violets join the fray. Mouth watering acidity and rounded tannins complete the picture on the palate. Outstanding. Very approachable now and should cellar comfortably for the next 15 years.

94pts | Tim Atkin

£51.99

Only 3 left in stock

Stellenbosch

Shiraz / Syrah

LightFull Bodied

Description

Composition: 85% Syrah, 15% Grenache Noir
Harvest: Syrah 23 March at 24.4 Balling / Grenache Noir 23 February at 22.8 Balling
Technical Data: Alc: 14.5%, RS: 2.0g/l, TA: 5.6g/l, pH: 3.55
Maturation: 18 months in 2nd fill Austrian Foudre and older 300L and 500L French oak barrels

The Rondekop Series wines represent a small selection of the best barrels – either single cultivar or a blend – from our iconic Rondekop hill. We believe there are 8 Natural Elements which uniquely impact our vineyards, creating quintessential wine producing conditions. At the centre of it all is our perfectly round hill, Rondekop: the 8th natural element.
Several stone axes have been found on Rondekop itself. These stone axes are from an early Stone Age, estimated to be at least 100,000 years old. Knowing that early humans lived and hunted on Rondekop adds to the mystical nature of our valley. In this special place, we planted our Syrah vineyard blocks.

WINEMAKING / MATURATION
Grapes were harvested from a single high-altitude vineyard on Rondekop. The grapes were hand-picked in lugboxes and stored in a coolroom overnight. 10% of grapes were whole bunch fermented and 90% were fermented as whole berries. The whole clusters were footstomped and naturally fermented. 1-3 soft punch downs were done per day and the wine was racked 3 times during fermentation. The wine was aged for 18 months in a combination of a 2500L Austrian foudre as well as 300L and 500L French oak barrels.

TASTING NOTES
As we have come to expect from this wine, the aromatics are practically bursting out of the glass with dark cherries, red peppercorns and star anise. The addition of 15% Grenache (a first for us) has elevated the aromatics on this single vineyard Syrah. Showcasing a royal purple hue in the glass, it is no surprise that in addition to the aromatics, the palate too, is generous in flavours; delivering lavender, violets and dark cherry tones. This beautiful wine will mature spectacularly for another 13–15 years.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS
Moderate weather throughout the 2021 season, and specifically during harvest time, resulted in grapes ripening slower, while developing exceptional colour and flavour. Harvesting began roughly two weeks later than usual due to unusually cool weather conditions throughout the season, which persisted through to harvest. Notably, water resources were also replenished following the recent drought, which contributed to fantastic vine growth, bunch numbers and exceptional berry sizes at Oldenburg Vineyards.

Additional information

Alcohol vol

14.5%

Grape

Shiraz / Syrah

Origin

Stellenbosch

Vintage

2021

Wine Farm

Black pepper and herb crusted lamb rack served with grilled aubergines and mint sauce.

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