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Craven ‘The Firs Vineyard’ Syrah 2021


Mick Craven: “Syrah is a grape that we both have a soft spot for. We think there are some really special and unique sites and plantings of Syrah in Stellenbosch. These grapes are from a great site in the ward Devon Valley. It is planted on a very rich, deep, red soil with a high clay content.
“The grapes are left 100% whole bunch, and lightly stomped by foot to extract a little juice. Very gentle pumpovers are performed once or twice daily, as we want to minimise extraction and maintain as many whole bunches as possible. 2021 was pressed off after 10 days on skins into old puncheons for 10 months.”

Christian Eedes ( “The nose is wild and arresting with notes of red and black berries, lilies, pepper, fynbos and earth while the palate has good fruit density, lively acidity and rather severe tannins. This is intensely flavoured and has plenty of crunch but needs a year or so to settle down.”


Vintage 2021 in South Africa was a very good one both for quality and quantity. Cooler weather in the ripening period allowed a later harvest than what is normal. This gave phenolic ripeness to the grapes without boosting sugars too much. The end result are wines of fruit weight, but moderate alcohols, and balanced acids and tannin.

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Working exclusively with Stellenbosch WO, this couple have been making Craven since 2013. All their wines are mono-varietal and there is no blending between vineyards. Their goals are purity, freshness and balance – there is minimal interference with the grapes once they reach the cellar. They do not own any vineyards, but by far most of the Cravens’ efforts throughout the year is in the vineyards and working with the farmers from whom they buy their fruit. In our opinion Mick and Jeanine are producing some of the most exciting wines coming out of Stellenbosch







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