Presumably taking their cue from Guigal’s singlevineyard Côte Rôties, namely La Mouline, La Landonne and La Turque, South African producers are increasingly inclined to bottle terroir-specific Shiraz – the Granite and Schist Syrahs from Mullineux are obvious examples as are Pillars and Aeon from Haskell.
Fairview has perhaps been at it the longest and last night Eenzaamheid 2010 was up against The Beacon 2010. Both from grapes grown on shale in the district of Paarl, both R185 a bottle and yet wonderfully different.
Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2010
Innoculated fermentation in tank, 20 months maturation in French oak, 60% new. Red and black fruit, spice and earth plus not unattractive oak-derived notes. Rich and broad with moderate acidity and soft tannins. Very South African in its density of fruit.
Fairview The Beacon Shiraz 2010
Spontaneous fermentation in wooden fermenters, malolactic fermentation completed in barrel, 80% new and then maturation for 20 months in French oak, 40% new. Black fruit, some fynbos and intense pepper. Rich and full but balanced by bright acidity and possessing good grip, the tannins firm but fine. A wine of distinction.