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Patatsfontein Sons of Sugarland Syrah 2021


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About Patatsfontein Wines

Patatsfontein is a South African winemaking partnership between Reneen Borman of Boschkloof and college friends Henke Kotze and Fritz Schoon. The story goes that Schoon’s father-in-law traded his flooring business to purchase a 1,200-hectare property in Montagu, which was planted to various white grapes including Colombard and Chenin Blanc (known colloquially as Steen). Schoon’s friend, Chris “Butch” Alheit visited the vineyard one day, and, inspired by what he saw, convinced Schoon that their fruit was too good to be sold off to the local co-op. Alheit introduced Schoon to Reneen Borman, and the Patatsfontein label was established.

Today, Patatsfontein is known for its Steen, Colombard, and Syrah wines, which have risen the ranks of the greats in South Africa in a very short time. Wine writer Christian Eedes has called the Steen “crackerjack stuff.” Beyond skilled winemaking, the well-chosen vineyard sites are to thank for that praise. The white wines are grown at 2,000 feet in Montagu, a rugged and remote area known for its unique slate soils. These cool-climate whites are beautifully raw, with bracing acidity and finesse. Patatsfontein’s Syrah is grown in the Polkadraai Hills of Stellenbosch. This area gets long sunshine hours, balanced by cool ocean gusts, which renders a Syrah with concentration and explosivity.

One grape…one clone…one vineyard…one immensely explosive Syrah that is truly a Syrah for Syrah lovers. The SH99 Syrah clone from the ‘Karibib Vineyard’ in the Polkadraai Hills in addition to a bit of sulphur is all that makes up this sublime wine. Reenen shares the 11 rows of Syrah with Lukas Van Loggerenberg (for his ‘Graft’ Syrah), Sam Lambson’s Minimalist Wines, as well as Jean Smit’s Damascene wines. This is the highest parcel of this ocean-facing vineyard that gets rammed by the cool breezes. Reenen’s goal with this wine is to make it as raw as possible but still with a pretty side. In a very short time this has risen to Syrah royalty in South Africa alongside Reenen’s ‘Epilogue’.

The fruit was hand-harvested in one morning and brought back to the winery where the fruit was placed into a concrete fermenter. Fermentation kicked off naturally with the juice on the skins and stems, and continued for 10 days. The lot was pressed to a 1500l concrete egg with gross lees intact and left to age for 10 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulphur.

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