The Stellenzicht Syrah Legacy
Stellenzicht, established in 1692, means ‘view of Stellen(bosch)’ and was purchased by international banker and financier Hans-Joachim Schreiber in 1981.
The Stellenzicht Syrah was Andre van Rensburg’s first vintage at Stellenzicht and he was appointed due to the confidence of then-consultant Neil Ellis (renowned winemaker), who convinced the owner that Andre was the right man for the job. His confidence was well-placed with John Platter noting in his 1997 guide, ‘his is the hand behind what might become the priciest, most prized modern Cape wine, the Stellenzicht Syrah’. 25 years later, the 1994 is perfectly composed, fresh and complex and 800 cases were made.
Fast forward to the present day, the historic Stellenzicht farm has been transformed over the past four years since its sale to renowned German wine collector Baron Hans von Staff-Reitzenstein and has re-launched an entire portfolio of wines in 2021. With a focus on sustainability at the heart of the estate’s revival, vineyards have been replanted, alien vegetation removed, and indigenous flora and fauna gradually re-established. For these new wines, Stellenzicht takes inspiration from the farm’s ancient heritage and champion pedigree, sharing the same Syrah vines and soil that gave birth to wine that won awards the world over in 1994.
Another very important aspect of the Stellenzicht sustainability journey is an exploration of the rich cultural and archaeological heritage of the farm, first established in 1692, with the discovery of Early Stone Age hand axes from the Acheulean period indicating an early human presence from 500 000 to 1.5 million years ago. The prehistoric implements and the soils of the farm provide the inspiration for viticulturist Nico Nortje and winemaker L'Ré Hughes’ vision of “preserving the voice of the land” in Stellenzicht’s portfolio of premium wines. Stellenzicht’s declaration to the farm’s dedication to a sustainable future can be seen in the adoption of the dragonfly as an emblem of balance and adaptation.
CRITICS RATINGS OF STELLENZICHT SYRAH 1994
‘One of SA’s newest and most convincing cult wines – improbably, since that status was thought likelier to emerge from the ranks of new generation pinotages. 1994 stated its claim with an emphatic début in the now celebrated showdown wine test against Australia in 1995 where international judges placed it ahead of the fabled Grange (Hermitage: the 91) and top of all Cape Shiraz entries.’ – Platter’s SA Wine Guide 1997
‘A horse of a different color. This inky-black Syrah is closed tight right now, but its underlying black cherry, coffee and chocolate flavours should emerge with time. Quite tannic but well balanced, it should be gorgeous when mature. 800 cases made.’ – Wine Spectator, 92/100
'Purple black core with garnet rim. Powerful, intense, modern nose has warm dark fruit, spice and wood smoke streaming from the glass. Big and bold, spicy, intense palate still has a robust structure and spirit. Fine, but firm tannins. Legs to keep. Drink now to 2030' – Higgo Jacobs (2019)
The current Stellenzicht Arenite Syrah is not only special because of the legacy of the champion vintage of 1994, but also because of the ancient soils and rocks that have stood the test of time on the Stellenzicht farm and now they speak through the wines.
Arenite refers to one of the major textural sandstone groups present on our farm. Our Syrah is happily rooted in these rocky soils as it is rooted in our history. Made from the same original Syrah clone as its acclaimed predecessor, this Stellenzicht stalwart exudes its origin with rich layers of dark berry fruit, spice and finely textured tannins. To read more about this wine’s technical notes, click here. To enjoy this wine with friends and family, shop it online today! You’ll definitely have an interesting story to share…