Payten & Jones Major Kong Syrah is made a little different – It’s a little murky in the glass and can sometimes throw a bit of sediment. Their wines always look better with a bit of air, served in a glass (although a jug can also work), at the right temperature, with amazing food and great company. The wines are not ‘perfect’ by industry standards, but they have the perfect personality for the situations they’re made for. So there’s these Monkeys. In Panama. They swing and stagger through the rainforest looking for fermenting berries. Not just any berry, they have to be not too sour, not too ripe, but just right. We’re convinced they have their own berry version of Goldilocks, and an eyebrow wielding equivalent of James Halliday. These connoisseur monkeys eat the equivalent of two bottles of wine a day when the ‘vintage’ is on (apparently 2018 was a great year). Armed with this information and in a moment of clarity, Dr Robert Dudley decided to write an interesting thesis titled the ‘Drunken Monkey Hypothesis’. The wild array of flavours and aromas that can be produced in wine and why we enjoy or dislike them are directly related to our evolutionary past. Bitterness was a sign of poison, sulphides (rotten egg) a sign of decay, and sourness was a sign of under ripeness. Not too sour yet not too ripe was a green light. Extending this line of thought, even Panamanian Howler Monkeys have an inherent ability to taste and appreciate good wine (or anything for that matter). Humans have been indulging for millennia. Payten & Jones have taken 8 years to learn and understand how to make wine that acknowledges these evolutionary principles, but to also keep it as raw, real and interesting as those Panamanian monkey’s wine. Two vineyards for this wine. 100% whole bunches from one and 100% whole berries form the other. So a 50/50 blend of bunches and berries to create a unique style of Syrah that is rich and concentrated while being pretty and perfume. Syrah made like Pinot Noir.