De Kleine Wijn Koöp Ronkedoor Syrah 2019
De Kleine Wijn Koöp began as a collaboration between some young blokes, making bona fide African wines sourcing grapes from around the Cape. Now the winemaker is the super talented Wynand Grobler and the range has gained greater focus and direction without losing any of the original irreverence and adventure.
Ronkedoor Syrah is a magical and rare wine from Walker Bay. Indeed the only Syrah (aka Shiraz) vineyard in this cooler, coastal region better known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The name 'Ronkedoor' means hermit in Afrikaans, based on an old fable about a quiet recluse who rescues a little mouse from the claws of an owl and raises her as his own. One day however the man realises that he is becoming too old to care for the little mouse and goes in search of a husband for her. They go on an epic search, consulting the sun, the wind, and the mountains to find her a man strong enough to care for her as the Ronkedoor had...
The man on the label is the Ronkedoor! He represents this isolated block in Walker Bay that stands alone but possesses the heart of a Ronkedoor and the potential to be something extraordinay.
Grown on decomposed granite & shale soils a stone's throw from the cool, southern Atlantic Ocean. Whole-bunch wild fermentation in open cement tanks for 5 days before pressing to 300-litre French oak barrels to mature for a year. It's used oak though so it is just for structure, not flavour.
Instead the flavour is all about the cool-climate Syrah. It's a dark, inviting red wine redolent of the Northern Rhône. Beautiful and delicate to start with, concentrated blueberries and raspberries on the nose and an underlying earthiness. Distinctly elegant, with supple tannins.
It might be the only Syrah planted in Walker Bay. On this evidence, there should be a lot more!
And fewer than 100 bottles made their way to the UK.