Winemaker: Corne Marias
Background: : General Manager and family member of Avondale, Jonathan Grieve, has, since 1999, instilled strict farming practises combing bio dynamic and organic principals to their vineyards and winemaking. It was a costly and somewhat adventurous exercise to initiate but with his dedicated team all having the same vision the farm is now has one of the most effective and economical ways of farming. Avondales philosophy and motto “Terra Est Vita” (Soil is Life) has given meaning to the dynamic living system on the farm where soil, water and energy; plants animals and people, and even the buildings all work together combining the individual strengths of each other. They produce a small range of wines which include a Cap Classique, whites, reds and a rose. Recently I attended the launch of their 2009 Samsara Syrah on the farm where Jonathan firstly showed us around the Avondale vineyards indicating where some of the 15 Syrah blocks for this wine are located. Each Syrah block has a different soil type and these are harvested and vinified separately and later we tasted through 5 samples from some of the blocks and shown the actual soil where the sample wine came from. The fermentation is 100% natural and after fermentation the wine is given extended skin contact of between 15 and 25 days to allow for better colour extraction. To further enhance the grape-driven tannin structure, one-quarter of the 2009 vintage underwent whole-bunch fermentation. Once complete the wines are given 12 – 18 months maturation in 1st up to 3rd fill French oak 225 litre barrels with the exception of one block from the Tugela soil spending time in a 600 litre clay Amphora jar! Prior to bottling the separately vinified and matured wines are carefully blended and once bottled allowed to rest for several years prior to release.
Result: Colour of inky plum and delicate aromas of spice and black cherry and violets. The palate is rich and silky with savoury ripe plums and subtle hints of spice and cinnamon on the lingering finish.
When to drink: Now till 2025
Drink with what: Spicy game dishes
Expect to pay: R440.00