Iona Solace Syrah 2016  £24.95

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For owners Andrew and Rozy, Iona is a project of sheer passion. Ionas site includes the coolest vineyards in the Cape. In terms of style and climate it is 420m above sea-level rising high above the picturesque Elgin Valley. An extremely long growing season, harvesting up to 2 months after Stellenbosch, results in diverse, complex flavours and uniquely fresh and elegant wines. The philosophy at Iona is to make wine that expresses the soils and climate as closely as possible, making use of sustainable farming methods and to maximise the use of natural products in farming and winemaking, with the Solace Syrah being made completely naturally.

From a single vineyard site on Brocha soils, planted with two different Syrah clones and a south facing aspect the Solace Syrah is hand picked and de-stemmed before crushing. No S02 is used at crushing after which it goes through a natural fermentation with 2 punch downs a day. Grapes spend 21 days on skin before being pressed and racked into 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill 500L French oak barrels where it spends 14 Months

The result is a wine with red berry fruit, full of spice, white pepper and floral notes. Supple, intense palate with fine tannin matched by plenty of fruit.

Try with Braised lamb and blue cheece pecorino with rosemary and sundried tomato gremolada.

2016 Not yet reviewed, this is what they said about the 2014...

89 Points Robert Parker

The 2014 Solace comes from a parcel of Syrah that is 100% organic apart from one herbicide spray, made with no enzymes and filtration, matured in used oak and bottled with less than 80 parts SO2. Deep in color, it has a generous bouquet of strawberry cheesecake, dark cherries and light earthy aromas. Curiously it does not sing of Syrah... more like a Pinot Noir! The palate is definitely Syrah thanks to the structure and here there is more varietal expression: blueberry, black cherries, cloves and sage, leading to a nicely composed finish. It is just the aromatics that seem to need addressing, otherwise this is very fine.

Reviewed by Neal Martin

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