Sophisticated South African Syrah

Sorry, this is going to be a brief post. This is my arm:

Davy's arm

I have carpal tunnel syndrome and typing one-handed is incredibly irritating. My other hand keeps trying to press keys. That makes my hand SCREAM at me! I will be seeing the doctor soon.

Today’s review is of Duncan Savage’s Red Wine. Not all of it! Just the red blend of two Syrah vineyards that he sells as his generic red. The 2018 will just be from one Syrah vineyard and I am really looking forward to trying that as Mr Savage appears to be a master of expressing terroir in his wines.

When I say it is a generic red that sounds pretty down-market. The truth is that this is a serious, profound expression of Syrah, so perhaps Domaine Red would be a better description of it. The vineyards this Domaine Red is composed of maybe separate, but they both have granitic soils.

If this is the standard flag-bearer of the Savage Domaine, I look forward to acquiring and trying as many of his wines as lunatic funds will allow! My chum Greg sells a plethora of Duncan Savage wines at Handford.

BottleRed Blend 2017, Duncan Savage

The nose is gloriously profound. I am moved and smitten. There is a some of pepper, some porcini mushroom and dark cherry and blueberry fruit, all very rich, ripe and with a serious depth of character.

I say it is rich and ripe, but the alcohol level on this is a restrained 13.5% – most famous Hermitages’ have a higher booze quotient than that. It may be profound, but it also has poise.

The character is a picture of beautiful refinement, framed by intensity. It’s like a Sarah-Jane Selwood reconstruction. Duncan Savage makes serious wines from serious fruit grown in serious locations.

That’s what it is all about, fruit and locations that produce first order fruit. There is no titting about with loads of new oak, or harvesting the grapes so late that all the character has been baked out of them. This is a nose of damned good Syrah. Mr Savage is a smart guy. This nose is smart.

Again the palate is forged in profundity. The tannins are bold yet sweetly polished. It is a poised structure kept lively by vivacious acid. There is plenty of good Syrah spice and fresh fruit. This is a pretty refined Syrah – more Côte-Rôtie than Hermitage.

It is very long and really well balanced. I think it will age extremely well, but there is quite a lot of pleasure to be had in cradle-snatching this perfectly formed beauty right now. Give it a shake in a decanter though.

Really top flight Syrah! Greg at Handford Wines tells me the 2015 is a more powerful bruiser of a wine, if you like that kind of thing, but I’m totally taken with this refined 2017 – I will buy more!