There are only a handful of Syrahs that have expressed the true potential of the Swartland. The best to our minds being the Mullineux Single Terroir, Porseleinberg and Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrahs, but these exceptional wines are now joined by a remarkable effort from Hagen Viljoen, the winemaker at Solms-Delta. Together with Joan Heatlie and the legendary viticulturist Rosa Kruger, they have sourced terroir-expressive parcels from the Swartland and Voor Paardeberg and produced two excellent wines that reveal Solms-Delta’s new direction and exude a new-found confidence.
The Terroir Collection Verdelho Roussanne 2015 is a unique blend of 50/50 Verdelho and Roussanne. The Verdelho contributes acidity whilst the Roussanne adds texture and flavour. Leading with a fine, perfumed nose of blossoms and stone fruit followed by a complex palate studded with salinity, nutty texture and a bone dry finish. Although only produced in very small volumes, this is a great addition to South Africa’s stunning ‘white blend’ canon.
‘Grown on shale soils in Papkuilsfontein, this is like a Cape Crozes-Hermitage,’ says Tim Atkin of the deeply flavoured, concentrated and wonderfully complex Terroir Collection Syrah 2015. This gem, with its fine, ripe tannins and persistent savoury and dry finish, is produced from 24-year-old Syrah vineyards. 20% whole bunch was used and matured in 3rd fill 500ℓ French oak for 12 months. Best to give it some time for the oak to integrate, but this wine will improve until 2021.
Produced in small volumes, these wines are both very limited.
Solms-Delta, Terroir Collection Verdelho Roussanne 2015
Unique in the Cape, and quite possibly elsewhere, this equal blend of Verdelho and Roussanne is a new release from Hagen Viljoen. There’s quite a bit of oak on the wine, but the focused, stony, beeswaxy flavours that lie beneath are deliciously zesty and complex. Drink: 2016-19. – Tim Atkin MW, 93/100
Solms-Delta, Terroir Collection Syrah 2015
There are only two barrels of this first release Syrah from Solms-Delta, but it’s the best red
yet from this rapidly improving producer. Grown on shale soils in Papkuilsfontein, this is like a Cape Crozes-Hermitage showing blueberry and liquorice flavours, some wild herbs and a peppery flourish. Drink: 2016-21. – Tim Atkin MW, 93/100