2017 vintage – Syrah 64%; Grenache 14%; Cinsault 11%; Cabernet Sauvignon 10%;Viognier 1%. Due to the ongoing drought conditions, yields were again much lower, resulting in higher berry concentration and healthy grapes. Phenolic ripeness was easily achieved, with the harvesting of grapes taking place earlier, during the cooler stages of the harvest period. The Swartland vineyards are renowned for their slate and granitic soils, creating tension and vibrancy in the wine. The increased volume of both Grenache and Cinsault in the blend certainly enhances the flavor profile significantly, with Grenache contributing exceptional fruit purity and Cinsault lending floral and ripe strawberry notes. Syrah remains the structural backbone. The nose offers a brooding compote of dark fruit with an abundance of perfume and savory whiffs of cured meat, black olives and cigar box. The palate shows red and dark berry fruit with flavors of ripe, red plums, blueberries, black cherries and tar evident on the mid-palate. The violets and spice of the nose follows through with a vibrant acidity and smooth, fleshy texture. Blackberries and licorice linger in the mouth with hints of dark chocolate and sweet tobacco.