Old Road Wine Co.’s 12 Mile Syrah Flies in with top-rating from Wine Advocate

The 12 Mile Limited Release Syrah 2017 from Old Road Wine Co. in Franschhoek has been rated amongst the best wines in South Africa’s in the latest report from the Wine Advocate, one of the world’s leading critical wine forums. Scoring 94pts from Wine Advocate’s South African expert Anthony Mueller, the 12 Mile Syrah finds itself in the leading ten wines appraised by Mueller for the new report. 

In Mueller’s notes for his Wine Advocate rating he says, “Right from the start of the first sniff, you can tell they have put a lot of time and care into this wine.

“The 2017 12 Mile Syrah begins with a classic and expressive nose that is unmistakable Syrah of good quality. The nose and the palate both express freshly cracked black pepper, chewy dark fruit with a strong, firm grip that leads to an expressive full-bodied long finish.”

The Old Road Wine Co. is a collaboration between Tim Hutchinson, CEO of DGB, and private partners was formed to ensure vineyards in the Franschhoek Valley are protected for future generations to continue the region’s legacy of winemaking and viticulture. 12 Mile Limited Release Syrah is one of the WO Franschhoek wines identified by the Old Road Co. in its goal to celebrate and preserve the heritage and individuality of unique vineyard sites – particularly old vineyards within Franschhoek. These include the Grand Mére, a single vineyard Semillon from the region’s famous 88-year-old La Colline vineyard and a 38-year-old single vineyard Chenin Blanc called Stone Trail.

The Single Vineyard Range is the pinnacle-offering of the Old Road Wine Co., a craft winery with a broad selection of wines embodying diverse varieties, styles, price points and back-ground stories.

According to Ryan Puttick, Old Road Co. cellarmaster, the top rating from an esteemed international forum such as Wine Advocate, is a tremendous achievement seeing that the Old Road Co. is a relative new-comer to the wine industry. What’s more, the highly-rated 2017 was the maiden vintage of the 12 Mile Limited Release.

Old Road 12 Mile Syrah Glass 387x1000 Old Road Wine Co.’s 12 Mile Syrah Flies in with top rating from Wine Advocate

“The recognition from Wine Advocate follows on the Top 10 Rating the same wine received in this year’s WineMag Shiraz Report, emphasising Old Road Co.’s positioning as a home of diversity, but one which is committed to exceptional quality in all its wine offerings,” says Puttick. “Everyone knows that introducing a new wine brand is a tremendous challenge, both in the local as well as the international market-place. But there is nothing like making top-quality wines to announce yourself onto the wine scene, and we are fortunate to be able to say the 12 Mile Limited Release Syrah and many of our wines have done just that.”

The vineyard for this wine is situated in Franschhoek, the home of Old Road Wine Co., and is located on an elevated site exposed to cool afternoon breezes giving the wine freshness and purity. The name 12 Mile reflects the perseverance of the local postman of old who, come rain or shine, completed his 12-mile delivery route on bicycle. 

In the cellar the hand-harvested grapes received extended skin contact for optimal colour and flavour extraction before being racked to the barrels for fermentation. After primary fermentation, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in the barrels before 18 months’ maturation in the same second and third-fill French oak barrels.

Another Old Road Co. wine that put in a sterling showing in the Wine Advocate was the Grand Mere La Colline Semillon from the 2016 vintage, which received a 90pt rating. Another blue-blooded Franschhoek wine, the grapes are sourced from the La Colline Semillon vineyard planted in 1936. Mueller describes the wine as having “a rich mouthfeel, vibrant citrus tones with a slight nuttiness on the palate….a beautiful and structured expression of Semillon made from vines going on 80 years”.