We were graciously introduced to the Haskell Hades (Syrah) 2014 at a media lunch catered by the team at La Mouette in Seapoint
We were guided through a series of Single Varietals from a deliciously well balance Chardonnay(a multiple 5 Star rating wine in the Platter’s South African Wine Guide), and reds for the same Single Variety Series: Aeon, Pillars and Hades
The Haskell Hades being the most recent addition to this range. What sets this dark purple hued Syrah apart is the 180 tonnes of rock was initially removed from the vineyard when the grapes were planted in 2007.
The harsh, unforgiving nature of the site was evident in the first year, when approximately half of the vineyard failed to establish. Subsequent years saw slow, tentative growth and minuscule yields, but in 2014 Hades began to express the sense of individuality that the site has always promised.
The 2014 Hades shows black pepper, sweet violets and fresh plum notes on the nose while the palate is refined and minerally with a charming sweet sour balance of dried plums and a savoury finish.
The genesis of the concept of the Single Vineyard Series began with the recognition of the exceptional differences between the two Single Vineyard Syrah’s, typical of the specific sites where they were grown.
That distinctiveness between the Haskell Aeon Syrah, named after the ancient decomposed granite and sandstone soils that form the basis of the Helderberg range, and the Haskell Pillars (pillars is a reference to the three columns/pillars that adjoin this 0.85 hectare vineyard at the entrance to the farm) was underlined in 2009 when Pillars became the first South African wine to win Best Wine of Show at the Tri Nations Challenge.
“Good things take time,”
says general manager and winemaker at Haskell Vineyards, Rianie Strydom.
“Hades, referencing the allusion of hell with the site being one of the most difficult places to grow grapes in the country, bared its teeth early. And although the vineyard has matured extremely slow, today it produces small yields of eminent quality Syrah. We bottled the first release from this 0.8 ha vineyard in 2014.
“Hades is the perfect ending to a nine yearlong tale of distinct and exceptional terroir. It is a tale of perseverance and persistence of beauty and aroma and a perfect conclusion to the Single Vineyard Series.”
The 2014 Haskell SVS Hades is available from the cellar at R320 a bottle.