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Joostenberg Estate ‘Klippe Kou’ Syrah 2021


The best Syrah vines on Joostenberg are planted in the rockiest soils hence the name “Klippe Kou”, which translated from Afrikaans means “chewing rocks” (literally) or “enduring hardship” (figuratively). Although the vines struggle in the first few years after planting, once the roots are well established these rocky soils produce intensely flavoured grapes and characterful wine.

Grapes were hand-picked, 70% were destemmed and the remainder left as whole-clusters. Natural fermentation occurred in small, open-topped fermenters. Maturation took place in concrete egg (37%) and old oak barrels (63%) for 10 months before bottling.

Christian Eedes, Winemag: “Red berries, musk, fynbos and white pepper on the nose while the palate is relatively rich (alcohol is 13.9%) with moderated acidity and powdery tannins, the finish nicely savoury. 91/100.”

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Situated almost equidistant between Simonsberg, Paardeberg, Paarl Mountain, and Durbanville, Joostenberg has a unique combination of climactic conditions and soil types. The Myburgh family believe the best way to express this singular terroir is to farm organically and sustainably, which they have done for two decades.

Organic viticulture centres around the promotion of healthy, fertile soil by advocating responsible soil cultivation methods and strengtheners of natural origin, with the aim of improving the resistance of the vines. This means no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilisers, thus a less interrupted interpretation of terroir.

This tells only part of the story though, as high-quality fruit is just the start. Without thoughtful, skilled vinification, quality of grapes does not necessarily guarantee quality of wine.

The winemaking regime at Joostenberg has evolved considerably since Ex Animo has been working with them. Tyrrel is picking earlier to keep natural acidity (afforded to him by healthier soils), less aggressive extraction during ferments, using less transformative elevage vessels (he is using concrete eggs and terracotta dolium more and more), and bottling sooner.

This all results in wines that are more nuanced, detailed and altogether finer than in the past. Partnered with a new vision for the labels, these wines have a bright future.







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