Last year’s Porseleinberg 2013 sold out in record time, and rightfully so. This schistous outcrop, just south of Riebeek Kasteel, produces a richly tannic and magical Syrah. Volumes are limited by the extremely low-yielding vineyards and special terroir.
Callie Louw, the custodian of Porcelain Mountain, regards the 2014 as softer and lighter than previous vintages. It may indeed drink earlier than 2010-2013, but it by no means loses its ‘Cape Cornas’ (says Tim Atkin MW) reputation. It shows haunting fragrance, pure red fruit and deep, savoury spice. Tannins are finer than usual, and it once again offers mineral tension and a long, earthy finish. It is not only profound, but frankly delicious!
Made in a simple, traditional style with whole-bunch fermentation and no additives, the wine matures in foudres and concrete. This week it received 95 points from Wine Spectator; the world has caught on. See a video on our very first visit to Porseleinberg.
As usual, volumes are limited and those who are unable to secure an order will be added to next year’s waiting list.
For those looking to try a similar style from Cornas, in the Northern Rhône, try the Chapoutier Les Arènes. A delicious and well-priced Syrah, it shows wild berries, leather, peppery spice and the same rugged tannins. It, too, will age well for a decade or more.
To place your order, please e-mail James@winecellar.co.za or call our office on (o21) 448 4105.
Porseleinberg Swartland Syrah 2014 – R500
This is loaded with layers of warm boysenberry, raspberry and blackberry confiture, stretching out over a well-embedded iron note and picking up anise, violet and juniper details along the way. Dense, lithe and seriously long. Impressive…Best from 2017 through 2025. – Wine Spectator, 95 points
Chapoutier Cornas Les Arènes 2013 – R 575
Showing the wild, savory and mineral-style of the appellation, the 2013 Cornas les Arenes sports an inky purple color to go with medium to full-bodied richness, excellent purity and lots of jammy black fruits, crushed rock and leather. It will have 10-12 years of longevity. – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 88-90 points
Cornas (110ha) is a village in the northern Rhône Valley that produces rich, long-lived red wines. The area is blessed with the same steep granite slopes and high sunshine hours as Hermitage, 8 miles (13km) to the north, and makes a similar, if slightly less refined, style of wine. For most of the 20th century, the focus on Cornas wines was significantly less than it had previously been throughout its long history, but the appellation’s output is now recovering its renown for quality due to a recent resurgence of interest and financial investment. – Wine-searcher.com