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Featured Wine Series: Cirrus Syrah 2012

by Kenny Wong August 26, 2015 3 min read

Featured Wine Series: Cirrus Syrah 2012

Winemakers share a kindred spirit, working the lands and tackling challenges that nature throw at them every day, just so to produce a vintage that they can be proud of. I have spoken to many winemakers in the course of my work, and you can sense their elation when a good vintage is at hand. At the same time, winemakers can be amazingly stoic when the weather has been less kind.

Good winemakers and wine families who have been in this business for generations recognise the unique work they do, and how difficult it can be to be at the top of their game vintage after vintage. There is mutual respect and camaraderie not unlike a band of brothers. As a result, it is not uncommon to find winemakers, sometimes working across continents, to come together to create something really special.

Today’s featured wine, the Cirrus Syrah 2012 is an example of such collaboration. This wine is produced by the Cirrus Wine Company, a joint venture between Silver Oak Cellars and Rust en Vrede Estate. Silver Oak is one of Napa Valley’s greatest wineries and the producer of blockbuster cabernets. Rust en Vrede Estate is South Africa’s top wine producer. It remains today the only winery from South Africa to have its wines placed on Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 Wines in the World for 4 consecutive years.

This story began in the early 1990’s with Jean Engelbrecht, owner of Rust en Vrede Estate and long time admirer of Silver Oak, making frequent visits to the US on business. On one of his travels, Jean met Ray Duncan, the proprietor of Silver Oak. The pair hit it off and a strong friendship was formed, founded on mutual respect for a common winemaking philosophy and focus that both wineries share. Silver Oak and Rust en Vrede both produce only red wines, and both are concentrated on a specific wine; Cabernet Sauvignon for Silver Oak and the Estate blend for Rust en Vrede. Over the years, a gem of an idea was planted in their minds to make a special red wine together.

Jean has always held the belief that if there is a grape that does really well in his country, especially in his home region of Stellenbosch, it will be Syrah. So it was decided between the friends that a Syrah should be made in Stellenbosch under the Cirrus project. Since the first vintage in 2003, every Cirrus Syrah vintage has rated 90 points and above in international wine magazines and swept the top accolades in South Africa and the UK.

The Cirrus Syrah 2012 is a continuation of its past vintages in terms of quality. I have tasted this vintage twice, and on both occasions, I find beautiful rich plum fruit, mocha and floral aromas on the nose. Wonderful black fruits form the backbone of this wine. Secondary flavours of earth and savoury characteristics are evident and these lead on to a long finish. As the varietal spelling Syrah suggests, this wine is closer to the old world style than the new world interpretation of Shiraz. Phenolic / flavour ripeness is present but sugar ripeness is controlled, meaning that you get beautiful fruit flavours but not the jam like characteristics often associated with full bodied new world wines.

This is a wine I highly recommend. Most people on our database do not normally drink South African wines, so this is a good opportunity to try something special. If not for anything else, by drinking this wine, we can at least enjoy this kindred spirit between two amazing families.

We have 120 bottles available in stock. Get yours now.

Price:    S$56 per bottle (usual price S$70; you save S$14 / 20% discount)

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Kenny Wong
Kenny Wong


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