Porseleinberg is home to a groundbreaking Cape Syrah that exemplifies the essence of terroir-driven, authentic wine. The extremely rugged and dry schistous mountain doesn’t invite easy viticulture, but of course extreme terroir produces extreme wine! This revolutionary long-term project by Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof brought in Callie Louw as the farmer and custodian of this special vineyard. At home on his John Deere tractor, Callie is also the winemaker, producing a richly tannic and yet ethereal wine that is more akin to Cornas or Hermitage.
‘Winemaker Callie Louw farms the vines organically, the fermentation is whole bunch with natural yeasts and minimal sulphur addition, matured in concrete eggs and foudres. The result is one of Swartland’s finest reds,’ says Neal Martin.
‘A Cape Cornas,’ – Tim Atkin.
‘Structurally the wine is very similar to 2010, but more balanced with more depth and weight,’ notes Callie on the 2013. The maiden 2010 received 18 points from Jancis Robinson, 93 from Wine Spectator and 95 from Tim Atkin. 2011 was a ridiculously small vintage that wasn’t released and the 2012 achieved a Platter 5-Star and 95 from the Wine Advocate.
The 2013 Porseleinberg stood out for its supremely elegant red fruit, layered complexity and wonderful freshness. The tannins are serious and yet remarkably silky and fine, providing a great platform for longevity. This is one of the finest releases we have tasted this year and we gave it a Wine Cellar score of 96 points. Drink from 2018 to 2028+.
For the first time, the 2013 vintage has produced sufficient quantity for us to offer more widely, even though it is still extremely limited.
This is one of our most special wines and an important part of South Africa’s wine revolution. See a video of our very first visit to Porseleinberg.
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Brace yourself! Few SA wines can capture this kind of purity and identity – although it does remind me of the Columella 2013 with its sheer depth, power and poise. Dark olive, elegant blackberries, aromatic fig and cured meats line the nose. Hauntingly rich and deep, Rhône-like spice leads to a tail with unbelievable precision and length. It is tannic, towering and rugged, but time will add more polish. How long will it last? Not sure, but I would put my money on it outlasting any other SA red. It’s a gigantic wine, although it only clocks in at 13.6% alcohol. Drink 2020-2040+. – Roland Peens, 96/100