Gravel Hill - Syrah | 2016

This wine is certainly about a sense of place.

The Gravel Hill terroir consistently provides a Syrah that is unique in character, quality and expression.

Since Carl’s first vintage at Hartenberg in 1993 he realized the distinct difference in the character and quality of a parcel of Syrah vineyard at the lower end of the Estate with extraordinary characteristics.

All these elements make for a unique red wine, shouting sense of place, true to terroir.

From R995.00


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Soil: Concentrated red (ferrous) gravel stone known as koffie-klip

Barrel Ageing: 18 months in 50% new French Oak barrels, 50% in 2nd fill (225li)

Alcohol: 14,58 % by volume

Residual Sugar: 2,0 g/l

Total Acid: 5,9 g/l

pH: 3,431

The core of the now phenomenal reputation of The Gravel Hill Shiraz is locked into the site’s unique geology. On the surface, there appears to be very little soil. Instead a 40 cm thick covering of brown ferrous stone is undermined by a fine clay layer, stretching down a few metres.

As the winter rains dissipate and the soil dries out, the subsoil clay cracks, and water filters through the gravel and collects in the clay fissures, serving as the vines’ water reservoir. As the summer heat  wanes and the winter rain arrives, the clay swells, pruning the roots buried inside it,  thereby limiting the vigour of the vines.

Fillet of kudu with a red wine jus, rare roast sirloin, wild mushroom risotto.

2016: 95 points Tim Atkin MW

2015: 96 points Tim Atkin

2014: 95 points Tim Atkin, 4½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2013: Gold Medal Syrah Du Monde France (2017), 5 stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2012: Gold Medal Decanter 2017, 91 points Robert Parker, 4½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2011: 94 points Tim Atkin, 4½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2010: 94 points Tim Atkin, 94 points Robert Parker, 4½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2008: Gold Medal Syrah Du Monde 2013, 4½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide, 94 points Tim Atkin MW

2007: 4½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2006: 91 points Robert Parker, 92 points Wine Spectator, 4.5 stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide, 5 stars Vic Harrington (Canada),   94 points Wine Pioneers (USA), 4 ½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2005: 92 points Wine Spectator, 4 ½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2004: 93 points Wine Spectator, 4 ½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide

2003: 92 points Wine Spectator

Over the past thirty years, from a poor parcel of dry, gravelly soil, a veritable giant in the wine world has grown. Hartenberg was one of the first South African estates to separately vinify grapes from a particular terroir. Wine from the small and highly unusual “gravel hill” was first bottled in 1978 under the “Montagne” label. Winemaker Carl Schultz arrived at the farm in 1993 and soon agreed that “The Gravel Hill” site was special, with wine from its grapes different to that from other parts of Hartenberg. The opportunity to showcase the site on its own arose after Carl was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) a couple of years later. As a condition of membership, he had to produce a small quantity of wine for sale at the annual CWG Auction. Consequently, the 1995 vintage from the site was named and bottled for the first time as The Gravel Hill Shiraz. It was sold at the 1997 auction – the first of fourteen vintages to be sold at the CWG auction. Before becoming commercially available, accolades for the  Gravel Hill already include the wine earning the highest price for any Shiraz at the 2007 CWG Auction and the second highest price for any wine at the auction ever. It is also the wine that has been auctioned at the CWG longest.

Gravel Hill 2016

Gravel Hill 2013

Gravel Hill 2014

Gravel Hill 2015