Sijnn Red – try this ‘un-classical’ wine
05 August 2016
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Jenny Crwys–Williams: Lloyd Jusa is Head Sommelier and Wine Director of the Saxon Collection and he was first exposed to wines in the Western Cape. But he was responsible for the wines at Cybele Forest Lodge, alas it is not more.
He’s chosen five weekends worth of wine and it’s no easy task because it’s August and once upon a time August was full on winter. But with climate change it could be freezing one day and the next it’s full on summer. Really nice to be talking to you.
Lloyd Jusa: Thank you.
JCW: What is your weekend wine for the first week in August?
LJ: Well, I’ve always been that kind of guy who gets attracted to some of the small boutique properties and these little vineyards. Because they make some of the most wonderful wines out there. At the present moment one such wine that I found really exciting is the Sijnn Red.
Produced in the small little area of Malgas, I think it’s the only vineyard that you find in that area, owned of course by David Trafford. Sijnn Red is a different kind of red compared to many in South Africa in the sense that he uses some unusual, ‘un-classical’ grapes, if you want to call it that.
A trend towards ‘un-classical’ grapes
JCW: There’s a big trend in that direction isn’t there?
LJ: There is and I think it’s good for the industry. We have done all the tried and tested formulas and now and again we need to go outside of our comfort zones. I like the fact that David Trafford, being a pioneer in the industry has had lots of success in Stellenbosch.
He’s also taken the initiative to take his venture elsewhere, this time around in Malgas. You’re getting Touriga Nacional, you’re getting some Mourvedre, some Trincadeira, some Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some Syrah; that is all being used to make this particular red wine. I have to say, it’s a very complex wine. It’s beautiful.
It’s full-bodied, it’s got some subtle tannins, oddly enough, which makes the wine incredibly approachable and the one that I’m recommending is the 2010 vintage. It’s the sort of wine that you can have with a barbecue, it’s the sort of wine that you can enjoy with hearty dishes as well. To say it’s still a little bit wintry out here, the tannin structure will warm you up.
JCW: It’s not as heavy as a full-on Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance?
LJ: Not at all, because you’ve got some lovely Syrah that’s added in there. But not only that, you also have the Trincadeira, some of these grape varieties originally from Portugal. Although Portugal is not really known for these wines. But these grape varieties sort of give the wine a body that’s approachable and more of a medium bodied structure to it.
What would pair well with it
JCW: If you had to choose an ideal dish to go with this red, what would you choose, where would you go?
LJ: You know, I’ve always thought of those red meat dishes, to go particularly well with this. One of the dishes that I would like to pair with this is the Steak Diane, anything that’s flambe’d. You throw in some mushrooms in a creamy sauce in there, it always creates this wonderful fusion on the palate. Remember with a Steak Diane you’ve got a lot of protein content in there. So you want the tannin structure because it sort of mechanically goes hand in hand together, so that’s one such dish that would pair with it.
JCW: All right, so it’s not as heavy as the really dark Cabernet Sauvignon’s and whatever.
LJ: Not at all.
JCW: And it’s a perfect weekend wine.
LJ: It’s a perfect weekend wine. I try to shun away from those big, big, overly-wooded wines because they’re not everybody’s cup of tea. More and more winemakers are moving away from those. They want wines that are really approachable, this is one such wine.
JCW: Thank you very much indeed.
LJ: Absolute pleasure.