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New Vintage

A Sensorial Celebration with the Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah 2015

By April 2021October 19th, 2021No Comments

This year we are celebrating Kleinood’s twenty first birthday.

To commemorate our coming of age, we are launching the sixth vintage of our flagship Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah in a way we have never explored before…

Kleinood is not only about wine,
but at the same time, it is never not about wine…

The Wine

Due to our viticultural philosophy, the 10 hectares of Kleinood vineyards have been divided into 23 small blocks according to the variations in soil conditions and micro climates on the farm. Each block has it’s own unique micro-terroir and are farmed accordingly.

The winery has been designed with small tanks to accommodate each small block. The wines from the blocks are matured separately in French oak barrels and are tasted blind separately after 18 months.



After a few years we realised that one particular block with Syrah grapes (Block 7) came out at the top with each blind tasting. We then “drilled-down” viticulturally into the block to try to determine why it was so unique. We found that this block gave us the smallest berries on the bunches of all the other blocks year after year. Smaller berries results in greater juice intensity.

The berries were also very loose on the bunch leading to optimal sunlight penetration on all berries resulting in great fruit development throughout the bunch. We found that this block gave us the lowest yield of grapes (tons per hectare) of all our vineyard blocks on Kleinood. Once again – low yields means greater intensity because the vines have to work so much harder.

We dug a series of deep trial holes in the block and found that the small boulders that were apparent on the soil surface were constant throughout the depth of the holes. This is very similar to the soils of the Rhône valley in France. The surface boulders play a big role in the ripening process of the grapes. Kleinood is close to the ocean and the evenings are very cool. The surface rocks heat up during the day and continue to radiate heat to the bunches throughout the night, thus reducing temperature shocks and resulting in an even ripening process.

“The reason for making the John Spicer Syrah is based purely on the outstanding and unique character of the wine produced by this vineyard block year after year – wishing to keep it apart as the ultimate expression of our terroir and supporting the philosophy that great wines are made in the vineyard.”

The Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah 2015 is a well structured and balanced, dark scarlet-red coloured Syrah with magenta rim and deep intensity.

The nose develops with medium, but pronounced intensity, showing pure ripe plum, maraschino cherries, mixed spice, cedar, red and black berry fruit and white pepper.

The aromas are well supported on the palate loaded with complex dry spices, cassis, garrigue, plum and mulberry preserve, meaty flavours and ends with a dry white pepper finish.

The John Spicer 2015 shows great depth of flavour, elegant structure, firm, grainy tannins and medium plus body.

It is ready to drink, but has the potential for further bottle maturation for 10 years.

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Tasting Notes

The 2015 vintage was unique in many ways. The rain during the growing season was around 50% of the average rainfall on Kleinood, the average grape berry size was around 20% smaller than the average for the block, the yield was around 15% lower than the average for the block – making this a very special wine. 

The Artwork

Each year we approach a young South African artist to make a painting for the wrapping of the Tamboerskloof John Spicer – Beezy Baily, Jill Trappler, Marlene Steyn, Katharien de Villiers and Stephané Conradie have participated in this project since the first vintage.

The Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah 2015 is wrapped in an artwork by the young, up and coming Cape Town artist, Jeanne Gaigher.

When she was working on this project, she spent some time on the farm and drew inspiration from the sounds of the all the different frogs in and around the ponds, the farm dam and the river that runs through it.


This wrapping is the printed on recycled paper made up of 80% calcium carbonate, (CaCO3) and 20% non-toxic resins. The CaCO3 is recovered limestone from quarries and building industry waste. Mixed with resin, the re-pap produces resistant, smooth, recyclable and water resistant paper.

Gaigher’s artwork inspired something we had never done before,
but just seemed so natural to do,
and, as Kleinood is turning twenty one this year,
felt a fit commemoration of our coming of age.

If we could taste and smell the farm in a bottle of wine,
and see an imagined portrayal of Kleinood fauna through art,
why, then, could we not hear what the farm sounds like too?

And, so, The Kleinood Nocturne was born from
a very natural collaboration between wine, art and music.

The Kleinood Nocturne

Created by the acclaimed jazz pianist Kyle Shepherd
in collaboration with sound artist Rob Brinkworth,
The Kleinood Nocturne
will take you on a breathtaking journey,
from sunset to sunrise, on Kleinood Farm,
over a glass of Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah 2015.

Once I visited the farm and met the people it felt very natural that I write this piece. We were very happy to use a beautiful acoustic grand piano. It was certainly the first time I recorded along with the sounds of nature and the atmosphere of Kleinood. I found the ambience to be very musical.

Kyle Shepherd

“When the listener opens their wine, as the sun is setting, they will be led through an emotional journey. This piece is a very transformative design, and during the witching hour, the music and nature-scape abstracts into a beautiful dream. We are carried back into the day and feel the warmth of Kyle’s melody, which captures an authentic and very African jazz soul. It’s phenomenal, and I’m so proud to have been a part of this. I hope the listeners are transported to the farm, and along with Jeanne’s painting, are left with a feeling of love and sharing.”

Rob Brinkworth

With the Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah 2015,
we wish to not only
bring you our soil and sun and rain,
but all the things we love, in one sensorial celebration.

Smell, taste, see & hear Kleinood
in the Tamboerskloof John Spicer Syrah 2015

To Twenty One Years
With Love,

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