This is an incredibly pure expression of Syrah. Black fruit, violets, black olive and white pepper lead you to an elegant lifted layer of freshness, powdery tannins, and a delicate structure. A far cry from the bombastic reds South Africa was once known for. Here, Scions of Sinai usher in the age of a lighter touch.
Planted in the late 1990s, this single-vineyard sits on a low ridge in the Lower Hedlerberg area of Stellenboash. The warm South African sunshine is perfectly tempered here, thanks to the cooling winds that roll off the False Bay shore; just four kilometres away. Though uncertified, the vines are farmed with organic practices.
Bernhard Bredell grew up on his family farm in the Lower Helderberg, southeast of Stellenbosch, where his family have been farming grapes for seven generations. He set up Scions of Sinai in 2016 after studying oenology, viticulture and soil sciences at the University of Stellenbosch, and working on vineyards in France and Spain. The name reflects this commitment to both land and family: a scion having the dual meaning of a young vine shoot and a generational descendant.
The project is based around a granite outcrop colloquially known as Sinai Hill, and his goal is to make pure authentic wines from dry-farmed bush vines grown here. Many of the vineyards he works with were planted in the late ’60s to mid ’70s by Koos and Pieter Bredell. Bernhard is low-intervention in the cellar - slow fermentation in open-top vats, ageing in old oak, no manipulations to the juice or wines and no filtration. His goal is an expression of a place, a vineyard, its history and its soil. “I’m not trying to be weird or funky – for me what’s most important is to have that line between vineyard and glass as uncompromised as possible,”