In a nutshell: A great value South African Syrah which pays homage to the savoury and wild Syrahs of the Rhône Valley.
The lowdown: The grapes for this come from two low yielding Stellenbosch vineyards, are hand harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and then raised in large wooden casks. Sustainably made this is a cracking wine for the money and made in a way that is more usual for far more expensive wines. Fresh with full brambly fruits, rustic herby and savoury notes and balanced by fine tannins and natural acidity.
When to drink: Ideal with spicy dishes, red meats and rustic Mediterranean meals.
Named after South Africa's most iconic bay, which frames much of the country's premium winelands, False Bay Vineyards was borne out of a desire to make 'real' wine affordable.
Back in 1994, long before founding Waterkloof - his biodynamic vineyard overlooking False Bay - Paul Boutinot came to the Western Cape to seek out and rescue grapes from old, balanced and under-appreciated vineyards. These treasures were otherwise destined to be lost in the large co-operative blends that were dominating South Africa's wine industry back then.
Unusually for that time, Paul transformed those Cape gems into wines with a minimum of intervention: Wild yeast ferments, no acid additions etc. A familiar story to many real wine lovers now, but back then he was swimming against the tide. Even today, making wine this way at the price-level is almost unheard of. Today the ingredients remain the same for Waterkloofs Cellar Master Nadia Barnard, fantastic coastal fruit, old vines and wild yeast abound, with additions avoided.