On the pour: Craven’s Firs Syrah
Author: Tatiana Humphreys
What is it? This single-vineyard Syrah comes from Stellenbosch. While South Africa’s trendiest producers have historically found a home in the Swartland or “fringe” regions, Jeanine and Mick Craven – the husband and wife duo behind the eponymous label – have chosen to champion the amazingly varied terroir of “Stellies”. They make two single-vineyard Syrahs: Firs and Faure. This, Firs, comes from a slightly warmer site and thus is a darker, broodier, slightly bigger style in comparison to the daintier, Atlantic-influenced Faure.
Why’s it different? We can’t get enough of South African wine – its “new wave” of passionate producers have transformed the country’s reputation. Craven is just one of that group, pioneering unconventional, low-intervention winemaking in an otherwise fairly traditional part of South Africa, crafting single-vineyard wines from some of Stellenbosch’s best old plots. Most importantly, their wines are unfailingly delicious. The Firs is structured (thanks to the iron-rich soils) with lush blackcurrant fruit and plenty of spicy complexity, all cut by refreshing acidity.
What should I eat with it? Embrace the changing of the seasons with something hearty – we’re thinking stews and casseroles, possibly involving game (in fact, our Head Chef’s pearl barley paella with partridge would work superbly).
How much? £1 for a taste, £21.50 for a bottle
Drop into our London Shop at 63 Pall Mall to taste it for yourself.
Taste South Africa’s most exciting wines and meet the people behind them (including Craven) at our annual tasting on 16th October.