Neal Martin - 30/11/2015
Platter Wine Guide, wineonaplatter.com, Oct 2015
About this WINE
Richard Kershaw Wines
Born and raised in the UK, Richard Kershaw enjoyed a successful career as a chef before discovering wine. After travelling extensively, he arrived in South Africa in 1999 and, by 2009, was Group Winemaker of Mulderbosch and Kanu. Richard became a Master of Wine in 2011 and established Richard Kershaw Wines in January 2012.
He is now pursuing his dream of making his own wine in the cool climate of Elgin, in the Overberg wine region of the Western Cape. His intention is to create site-specific, cool-climate wines from high-quality French clones of the Chardonnay and Syrah grapes. His site, in one of South Africa’s coolest wine districts, Elgin, benefits from higher altitude, proximity to the ocean, specific cloud cover sequencing and large differences in day and night temperatures, all of which allow his Chardonnay and Syrah to show a true sense of place. The climate leans toward Southern Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, affording Richard’s wines a surprisingly Old World feel.
They are extremely impressive, a fact recognised by John Platter, who awarded the first vintage of his Chardonnay (2012) a straight 5/5 stars, a feat that was repeated with the ‘13 Chardonnay. This is a small operation, however, and volumes are limited.
This cool lush corner of the Western Cape is east of Stellenbosch. Historically Elgin has been better known for its apple orchards, but is fast proving its potential for wine, with elegant examples of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and even Syrah.
Circled by mountains, the cool-climate ward sits within the Overberg region. Aromatic grape varieties thrive in Elgin’s slow-ripening conditions, with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir and even Syrah showing promise.
Recommended producers: Richard Kershaw MW
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.