Limit of 6 per person
Porseleinberg Syrah 2017 by Callie Louw, who produces one of SA’s most distinctive and sought-after Syrahs. This Swartland property was bought by Boekenhoutskloof in 2009 and Callie was tasked with nurturing the existing Syrah vineyards and establishing a further 30 hectares thereof. The vineyards are planted on blocks of schist, a very hard, yet flaky and friable rock with a reddish, silver colour, perfect for reflecting that hot Swartland sun. 100% of this vintage is from the old block, which is the one first noticed by director Marc Kent, who uses it in his famous Boekenhoutskloof Syrah.
The latest creation of Callie Louw, who concentrates on his 90ha of Syrah on steep schist-laden hillside vineyards in the Swartland. A deep crimson-ruby colour precedes a forthcoming aroma of fresh tree cherries, semi dried violets, meatiness with a sprinkle of white pepper. Wild fruit on flavour with gorgeous cherry core and bright acidity. A concentrated but fresh and athletic wine, immediately reminding me of young Crozes-Hermitage. Grippy tannins finish it off, rendering it set for long maturation potential – keep until 2027.
“Another dry year, 327mm rain. Thankfully the growing season was much cooler and with a few later rains the vines maintained good canopies to harvest. Great tasting fruit was the result. Yields still very low 3t/ha. Harvest started second week of Feb and lasted 2 weeks. Grapes were hand-picked and transferred to concrete tanks whole bunch. The bunches were foot stomped where after natural fermentation took place.”
“During the ferment, 2 pump overs were given per day until the fermentation was complete. Maturation took place over 12 months in 70% foudre & 30% concrete egg. Bottled mid May 2018.”
Analysis: Alc. 14,1% R.S. 2g/l ph 3.9 T.A. 5g/l
“Tasting notes: Ripe but restrained, red fruit and spice leaning more to the cooler spectrum. Very mineral and cool on the pallet with lots of fruit and a present tannin giving it the purity and fresh sense that is the trademark of the Porseleinebrg soils.”
“Very good indication of the growing conditions and the vintage which will definitely evolve very well with time in bottle.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:
Callie Louw’s early vintages had immense tannins and even the maiden-release 2010 is far from maturity. While his farming and winemaking have hardly changed, the 2017 Porseleinberg shows slightly sweeter fruit and silkier tannins. The addition of young vines, and perhaps a softer approach, means that the 2017 is the most opulent and beguiling vintage yet. The palate abounds with olive tapenade, cured meats, blood orange, black pepper and juicy blackberries. It is full-bodied and packed with ripe, textured grape tannins while the finish is long and decadent. The 2017 continues Porseleinberg’s rise in the world of great Syrah. It will be fascinating to see it age over the next 2 decades.