Damascene Syrah 2018

This fabulous Syrah has a list of fermentation techniques that I had to read thrice.

Yes, I use the word thrice.

The Wine:

Deep ruby with a medium nose of tart raspberries, blueberries, violets, earth, beetroot, slight vanilla, tobacco, smoked meats, faint pepper…white pepper and a barely there trace of aniseed.

Dry, medium+ acidity, full bodied, delicious furry tannins. A combination of tart red berries and blueberries (I don’t often pick up blueberries in wine, so this is was pretty cool), beetroot and faint salty liquorice. A decent finish that has the natural sweetness of earthy beetroots with a sprinkle of salty liquorice and soy sauce…and fynbos that adds to the structure at the end.

Vini + Viti:

100% Syrah sourced from the Polkadraai and Bottelary Hills vineyards in Stellenbosch.

Such a range of fermentation methods - whole cluster, open top fermentors, oak foudres. Some pumpovers, some punchdowns, and some submerged cap. And let's not forget the 30 day carbonic maceration on a portion of the whole clusters.


Balance (½) + Length (1) + Intensity (1) + Complexity (1) = A  future outstanding wine!

Drink now, but has potential for further ageing. The only reason I didn't give this full marks is because I think it has the potential for more integration.

Final Thoughts:

I found this wine really hard to write notes on…because I kept emptying the glass. It’s definitely young, and I’d look forward to seeing the furry tannins and raw earth mellow into the wine. But it is seriously delicious right now. It’s a bold Syrah that manages to also have lightness and elegance.

I’m not saying I can taste the vines…but there was something familiar about this Syrah. It turns out it’s from the same vineyard as two of my other fave Syrah. Winemakers often share vineyards in SA (especially the smaller producers who have committed to establishing long lasting relationships with their grape growers).

Find the Wine:

Damascene don't seem to, but I picked this up from the lovely people at Vino Pronto.

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