The Sons of Sugarland Syrah forms part of the Ron Burgundy Wines collaboration that includes young winemaking talent Reenen Borman and his business partners Henk Kotze and Fritz Schoon. These Syrah grapes are sourced from the granite hills of Stellenbosch which is perfectly situated close to False Bay just outside of Cape Town. The Sons of Sugarland Syrah 2018 is produced from the supposedly “superior” pure SH99 Syrah clone using 100% whole-bunch fermentation for the grapes.
This is a wine that has received rave reviews since its very first vintage and while the epic 2015 and 2017 releases raised a lot of excitement in Syrah-loving circles, the 2018 has some how managed to move the quality bar yet higher harnessing the purity, elegance, finesse and perfume of top Stellenbosch Syrah. If you have an expensive penchant for top Northern Rhone Cote Rotie wines but are starting to baulk at paying the ever increasing prices, this could be the wine for you!
Sons of Sugarland SH99 Syrah 2018, WO Stellenbosch, 14 Abv.
100% whole-bunch fermented and aged in concrete with no oak used at all, this 2018 Syrah is certainly a profound wine marked by its incredible perfume and aromatic complexity. Dark and inky in colour, the nose boasts seductive notes of violets, sweet jasmine, sappy crushed leaves, wood smoke and polished sandalwood that combine with promising aromas of asphalt, melted tar, black olives, cured meats and luscious black berry fruits. The palate is beautifully trim and toned with perfect proportions and silky, elegant savoury tannins that hark back to some of the finest Cote Roties of the Northern Rhone. Medium bodied and seamlessly harmonious in texture, this wine finishes with notes of graphite, black currant herbal tea and crushed blueberries dusted with roughly ground black peppercorn spice. Classical Stellenbosch Syrah delivered with incredible precision, purity and subtlety. A true wine of beauty and thoroughly delicious. Drink now and over the next 8 to 10+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
4 thoughts on “Reenen Borman’s Collaborative Sons of Sugarland Syrah 2018 Puts This Vintage Well and Truly On the Map…”
Thanks for the note Greg. What was of particular interest to me was the ageing potential. I thought oaking played a significant role here, but there must be other factors at play for this wine matured in concrete?
Some very lived classical wines in Spain, Italy and France are aged in a more traditional method in concrete without any oak, or perhaps just a little old large oak ageing. For certain styles, oak ageing can influence a wine’s age ability but more often than not, length of maceration on skins, extraction of tannins and use of whole bunches in fermentation will have an even greater influence on the wines structure and longevity. Acidity and balance will also be key ingredients for a wines age ability. I’d have no problem cellaring this wine for easily 8-10 years.
Thanks Greg, much appreciated.