Asara Shiraz (6/case) (R124/BOTTLE)
Asara’s Vineyard range stays true to vineyard of origin by means of minimal cellar handling. The property is located in the Polkadraai Hills, whose primary terroir influence is granite based soils and undulating hills.
Cultivar: Shiraz (100%)
Style: Vibrant, elegant
Shiraz is widely seen as South Africa’s best-performing red variety, with recent years particularly seeing a trend towards elegant wines of greater fruit purity. The Polkadraai’s hilly topography is capable of producing grapes that are ripe and rich in intensity, elegant and restrained, and/or pleasantly peppery. The profile depends in large part on aspect and altitude – lower, flatter areas accelerating ripening – while well-drained soil types restrict the tendency towards vigorous growth of canopy, especially in younger vines. The Asara Shiraz is produced from two vineyards planted at different altitudes, to capitalise on mesoclimate and soil type. The higher vineyard attracts a slower ripening, resulting in a softer, more elegant style of wine; the lower vineyard planted to a soil type that causes flavours to concentrate by placing stress on the vines.
Two vineyards of varying altitude, aspect and soil type are blended to create this wine. High potential Tukulu soils, found at the altitude of 150m above the sea, contribute moisture and nutrients to the vines. Southwest facing, the bunches receive direct sunlight only once per day. Working in concert with soil type and cooler climes, this aspect extends the ripening time. The vineyard at lower altitude is planted to Oakleaf soil, which is lower in potential and more rapidly draining. A measured amount of stress is placed on the vines, causing flavour to concentrate in the grapes. Adequate foliage cover, and east-west vineyard aspect minimises sun exposure, optimising ripening without charring the grapes. The vineyards are 15 years of age and yield at average of 6 tons per hectare.
Harvesting takes place in the early hours of morning, and the grapes are picked into small lugs for rapid transfer to cellar. After cooling overnight, the grapes are hand sorted and whole bunch macerated for three days. A rapid fermentation at 30° C, with 10% of grapes remaining in bunches, minimises extraction of tannin from the skin and seeds. Malolactic fermentation occurs in tank, and the wine is transferred to barrel – 15% new; 80% French and 20% American. The wine resides in barrels for 16 months prior to blending and bottling.
Vibrant red fruit, green pepper corn and spice, with dark berries layering in. Green pepper entry and vibrant red berries point towards vineyards at altitude. A mouth filling palate, juicy and lingering.
Residual sugar (RS) 3.5 g/I
Total Acidity (TA) 5.8 g/I