Gabriëlskloof is a beautiful wine estate located near Bot River in the Overberg region east of Cape Town. It was purchased in 2001 by Bernhard Heyns, who had been on the lookout for the ideal place to plant vines. After planting, his first vintage was in 2009. We felt compelled to add Gabriëlskloof to our list because Peter-Allan Finlayson, Bernhard’s son-in-law, took over as winemaker from the 2015 vintage. The farm has 300 hectares, with 68 hectares planted to vines. The vineyards are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future.
Gabriëlskloof winery is in the Bot River ward, where prevailing southerly winds from the nearby Atlantic Ocean create a mesoclimate perfectly suited to low-yielding vineyards. The farm and vineyards were established in 2000, with the first vintage made in the cellar in 2009. Gabriëlskloof strive to farm as sustainably as possible, and were recently awarded Championship status for BWI (Biodiversity in wine). There are a variety of different soils on the farm. The Syrah grows entirely on Bokkeveld Shale, which helps to retain to heat and ripen the grapes.
2015 was an excellent vintage. A very cold and wet winter was followed by a moderate and dry summer. This permitted advanced flavour development at low sugar levels. The harvest took place during the month of February.
For the Syrah on Shale, 40% of the the grapes were whole-bunch pressed, while the remaining 60% were destemmed before pressing. Fermentation took place using wild yeasts only. The wine spent four weeks on the skins in tank before all of the wine was pressed into barrel. The wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, 30% was put into new French oak and the remaining 70% in a variety of older barrels. All of the barrels are 228L in size. Only 3400 bottles of the 2015 were made.
Deep red in colour with white pepper, crushed herbs and dark fruit on the nose with a full mouthfeel and savoury finish.
|Grape Varieties||100% Syrah/Shiraz|
|Notes||Sustainable, Vegan, Vegetarian|