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Fairview `Beacon` Shiraz

Paarl, Coastal


  • Silver - Sommelier Wine Awards 2014


Fairview is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Paarl, which is more sheltered from the moderating maritime influence than nearby Stellenbosch. Vines were planted here as early as 1699...

The property was bought by the grandfather of current owner Charles Back in 1937. Fairview has a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties. Charles leads the field in South Africa in matching varieties to specific sites. The Fairview estate now has a total of 586 hectares of vineyard over four appellations: Paarl (350 hectares), Swartland (115 hectares), Darling (86 hectares) and Stellenbosch (35 hectares). This vineyard ownership in so many different regions allows Charles to produce a wide range of wines, from grapes grown in optimal conditions. In 2014, Charles received a lifetime achievement from the International Wine Challenge. 

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34° South and 19° East marks the site of a most unique, north-west facing vineyard. The Surveyor General’s trigonometric beacon rises from the top of a mound of metamorphic stone which was formed many millions of years ago. In primordial times, the area was an ancient ocean bed. Now, unirrigated bush vines planted in 1995, grow between large, flat, grey shale stones. Their roots penetrate the rock in search of nutrients and moisture. The vines are pruned for low yields, with the deep Glenrosa soils encouraging the production of small berries but also retaining moisture well so the crop ripens early.

Vintage information

The 2011 vintage was long and warm with consistent ripening throughout. There were occasional cold spells in between which helped to achieve good levels of natural acidity within the grapes. Harvest took place entirely by hand at the end of January.


Grapes were harvested fully ripe. The fruit was brought to the cellar in small lug boxes, de-stalked and hand sorted over a sorting table. All raisins, underripe berries and stalks were removed. The sorted berries were sent straight to 600 litre open French oak fermenters and allowed to ferment naturally. Manual punch downs (pigeage) were performed three times daily. Post-fermentation maceration lasted for four days. Wine was basket pressed and malolactic fermentation was completed in 80% new French barrels. The wine was then racked, lightly sulphured and returned to 40% new French oak, with the remainder in second and third-fill French oak barrels. This vintage spent a total of 20 months in oak.

Tasting Notes

Deep ruby in colour. Aromas of black fruit mingle with subtle leather nuances. Bold and austere, with firm tannins and good acidity, indicating maturation potential. Shows ripe dark fruit, with a persistent savoury edge.

Vintage information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 100% Syrah/Shiraz
Region Paarl, Coastal
Winemaker Anthony de Jager
Consultant Winemaker Charles Back
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%