Founded by Paul Boutinot in 2004, Waterkloof is a family-owned, organic, biodynamic and WWF Biodiversity Champion farm perched high up on the windswept Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay and The Atlantic Ocean. Living soils, naturally low yields and a long growing season help provide talented young Cellarmaster Nadia Barnard with naturally balanced grapes that are imbued with a truly defining sense of origin. Those grapes are then transformed into wine with a minimum of intervention. The resulting wines are fine, inimitable and best enjoyed with food.
Living soils and a natural approach to winemaking means that each of the single-varietal wines in the Circumstance range is truly defined by the circumstances influencing the chosen varietal and vineyard blocks, including: soil, aspect, altitude and vintage. Circumstance Syrah is from a single, windswept, south-facing (less sun exposure) block 240-60m above and a mere 2 miles from The Atlantic. These factors combine to produce low yields, balanced grapes and wines with a true sense of place. Production was a miserly 5 tons per hectare.
Grapes are hand-harvested and brought to the cellar by horses for hand-sorting. Bunches are sorted and whole-bunch fermentation happens spontaneously with wild yeast in large, open-top wooden fermenters. Manual punch-downs or foot-pressing take place 1-2 times per day and the wine is left on skins for 30 days before going through malolactic fermentation in old 600 litre barrels then ageing for 19 months in the same vessels. No fining, just a light filtration. No additions other than sulphur. Vegan friendly, biodynamic wine. 21 barrels made.
Circumstance Syrah is a stunning Rhone style wine with hints of black pepper and other spice on the nose, complemented by scents of flowers and plums and fynbos, the South African equivalent of Garrigues. The palate is dry, with plum and sour cherry. The mouthfeel is velvety and initially has notes of cocoa, but comes to resemble a stony minerality on the long finish. Elegant with great length, a true vin de garde.
Great with red meats, especially lamb or sirloin steak, flavoured with Southern French herbs (rosemary, thyme) or hearty casseroles.