I picked this up alongside the much hyped Stars in the Dark Syrah without knowing much about this ‘Experimental’ range.
Made from a 3 hectare block on 3 different soil types planted with 3 different Syrah clones in 2006. Sam Lambson, the winemaker, leases and farms this block as a commitment to retaining the Syrah plantings in Elgin - a region where apple farming is far more profitable. If we could remind ourselves that this winemaker is 20-something years old - it is, clearly, an impressive endeavour.
A righteous nose that lays a feast of dark & red cherries and guavas; a trail of rose petals lead to lavish bouquets of roses, fresh olive leaves and herbaceous fynbos with roots intact that emit a warm earthy funk; there’s coffee brewing in the background; and someone’s just cracked the black pepper.
Crunchy red fruit. Fresh acidity. Fine, slightly green, cool climate Old World tannins, but with a lightness and ripeness of fruit that tells you that you’re in the New World. Candied red cherries are most prominent on the palate, but they’re steadied by a super herbal, slightly bitter finish. It's a charming example of unoaked Syrah.
Vini + Viti:
This feels like an ode to N. Rhône...but riper and sunnier and friendlier (to me). It reminds one of a still life tablescape oil painting...the subject remains the same but it’s been updated in acrylics. The Minimalist Wine team’s use of drones to survey the vineyards also shows an understanding of the importance of varnish...but bypassing the pitfalls of outdated craquelure. All for the better to see the wine, my dear?