Country: South Africa Region: Coastal Region Vintage: 2013
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
"The Fairview estate is situated approximately 50 kilometres from Cape Town, on the lower slopes of Mt. Paarl, and was planted with vines as early as 1699. The property was bought by Charles Back's grandfather in 1937 and was subsequently run by his father, Cyril, before Charles took charge. His era has seen Fairview emerge to become one of the country's most exciting properties, with all its production now certified as Fair Trade. Charles doesn't use the certification, however, as he wants to sell on merit. The excitement engendered by Fairview was recognised in 2014 when Charles was given the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by the International Wine Challenge. Though slightly alarmed at being given this gong when he was only 58, Charles was happy to join the likes of Hugh Johnson, Peter Lehmann and Michael Broadbent as a recipient of this award.
The wines from Fairview continue to evolve in style under winemaker Anthony de Jager. By better work in the vineyard (opening the canopies to allow light to get to the grapes earlier in the season, for instance) he is getting full ripeness at an earlier stage. This means earlier picking, which in turn means red wines with more vibrancy and freshness. The Pinotage and Beacon Shiraz have both benefitted from this approach, and are looking better than ever.
With the whites, he is looking for full ripeness, especially with the Sauvignon. ""We don't want any green characters in our Sauvignons"", he says. The 2015 Darling Sauvignon is more tropical in flavour as a result, with lovely texture and depth on the palate. Surprising some upon first taste, as it lacks the herbaceous characters often associated with South African Sauvignon Blanc, but it is a much better drink as a result of this work. Equally exciting is the 2015 Darling Chenin Blanc. It is is fragrant and has a lime zest character on both the nose and palate.
Charles continues to invest at Fairview, and has bought, in the past few years, both neighbouring properties. New vineyards have been planted on the hills, so the wines from this fine property will continue to improve over the coming years. Given their current level of quality, this is an exciting prospect."
Winemaker: Anthony de Jager
"This dry farmed vineyard was planted in 1995, on a deep Glenrosa soil type that retains moisture well and allows the crop to ripen early, without stressing, during the region's long hot summers. Planted on a north-westerly facing rocky outcrop, the vines are pruned to a “bosstok” or bush vine. Depending on the growth, the vine is pruned to between three and five buds per vine. Summer canopy management
includes a topping, which will reduce wind damage, as well as green cropping at 80% veraison to ensure even ripening."
Grapes were harvested fully ripe, brought to the cellar in small boxes, de-stemmed and hand sorted over a sorting table. All raisins, underripe berries and stalks were removed. The sorted berries were sent straight to open French oak fermenters. Manual punch downs were performed three times daily. Post fermentation maceration lasted for two days. The wine was basket pressed, and malolactic fermentation was completed in French oak of which 20% was new and 80% was second and third fill barrels. This vintage spent a total of 20 months in oak.
Dark ruby red in colour. Aromas of white pepper, mixed spice and black cherries, this Shiraz resembles a Syrah from the Northern Rhone. The palate is full-bodied with firm structure and evident tannins.
Food Suggestion: A wonderful pairing with Grilled Lamb, Grass Fed Beef and venison
Closure: Natural Cork ABV: 14% Acidity [g/l]: 5.9