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Testalonga El Bandito The Dark Side Syrah 2021


Product Notes


The Dark Side is probably our most simple label, but we find it fitting to the grape Syrah, which definitely has a dark side, in a good way. Syrah has always been a challenging grape for us as we have high expectations and it is very important to find the right soil and block to suit the wine that we want to make.

NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA                            

NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig & Carla Hawkins


CELLAR LOCATION Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland

CLIMATE: Dry Mediterranean

TERROIR: Decomposed Granite, South East facing, 200m above sea level, from the Paardeberg.

VITICULTURE: Organically farmed bush vines planted in 2001, the soils have a higher clay content than a lot of the other parcels I get from which helps with water retention which is a good thing in the very dry years. Not a lot of suckering is done to promote leaf growth. 2021 was a vintage that also yielded much better yields than previous vintages due to the wet winters and continued vineyard improvement done by Rick Mcgrindle.

GRAPE: 100% Syrah

YIELDS: 40hl/ha


Hand-harvested then fermented with 100% whole bunches in open 1500L tanks. Pressed after 10 days and matured in three 500L old French oak barrels. No added yeast or acid. SO2 added a month before bottling, un-fined and a light clarifying filtration was done. There is a great purity of fruit this year and we love the depth that has been achieved due to the vintage conditions..


Alc            11.95%
TA            4.5g/l
pH            3.57
RS             1.2g/l
VA            0.53g/l
fSO2         10ppm
tSO2         28ppm

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