Spier Frans K Smit 2012

Colour: A royal berry red with ruby red on the rim
Nose & Palate: A discernable blackcurrant and dark fruit presence on the palate, with the barest traces of cigar box.You can almost taste the tannins in this blend. They’re firm and assertive, but also rounded, sweet, soft and very amiable.

This blend is good with matured beef ribeye steak or game fillet like Eland. Season and barbeque on ahot fire, then cut into medallions and add a splash of olive oil.

variety : Shiraz | 46% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 5% Shiraz
winery : Spier
winemaker : Frans K Smit
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 14.5 % vol  rs : 2.99 g/l  pH : 3.61  ta : 5.55 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  
pack : Bottle  size : 0  closure : Cork  

AWARDS
2015 - FKS 2009 won 4.5 stars at John Platter & FKS 2011
2015 - Wine makers guild Winemakers Guild Auction Reserve won 5 stars at John Platter

ageing : PEAK DRINKING: 10 years after harvest

‘A monster of a wine from the tiniest vintage I’ve ever worked with. This 5-year-old gave us just 6500 bottles and has the makings of a long-distance runner - with soft, rounded tannins. This is only my 2nd Merlot-based vintage since 2004. When a Merlot yield is good, it’s king; my personal default choice. I always push for Merlot when the vintage is good. 2012 was brilliant for Merlot, which sings through the layers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.’ - Frans K Smit, Cellar Master, Spier

The Wine & Winemaker

Frans Smit and his winemaking team have harnessed 3 centuries of winemaking history, transforming Spier from a small cellar in the Eighties into a top award-winning Stellenbosch producer. Crafting blends of distinction, and identifying regional vineyards that are some of the Capes best kept secrets. ‘Respect what the vineyard hands you’ is his mantra.

FKS: ‘This wine has the long-legged capacity to be a big future player. It’s a rare pleasure to uncork the occasional bottle. Every time, I’m amazed. Although big and structured, this wine has a gentle alter ego. The tannins aren’t hard – they leave a subtle, sweet sensation. It’s thanks to the terroir, really. The fruit hails from the Helderberg ̶ by far the best South African terroir for this style of red blend.’

in the vineyard : Sil & Terroir
FKS: The benign west- and northwest-facing slopes of the Helderberg is the place where all the vines were grown, and all within a 10km radius. Decomposed granite soils retain water well, allowing for slow ripening and heightened mineral complexity. The area benefits from the cooling effect of the nearby Atlantic. FKS: ‘The season was also beautifully mild. So the fruit matured without any necessity to pick in a hurry, developing excellent flavor concentration and velvety tannins.’

about the harvest: All grapes were harvested on the west and northwest facing slopes of the Helderberg and on the foothills of the Helderberg.

in the cellar : The Crafting
FKS: ‘We worked every inch of these vineyard blocks, putting so much time and care-taking into each vine row. Our team was constantly in attendance. Making a wine that yields this kind of character is labour intensive. After hand-picking and carefully packing the berries into small 10kg lugs, they were then sorted by hand, crushed and pumped into a mixture of 500L roller barrel and small steel tanks. Fermentation and post-fermentation took place in these barrels and tanks, where the juice remained on the lees for 3 – 6 weeks, or until I was 100% satisfied with the tannin levels. We then racked and transferred the wine to small French Oak barrels for maturation to begin.’

Maturation:
‘Malolactic fermentation took place in the small French oak barrels, followed by an extended period of maturation. Around 24 months after picking, I made selections from these already well-rounded blends. They were then returned to the barrel for a further 6-8 months, before the final barrel selection - the big moment when we get to pick the best of the bunch.’

OTHER VINTAGES

Shiraz
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Merlot