2020 Porseleinberg, Swartland, 12x750ml

2020 Porseleinberg, Swartland, 12x750ml

Since it's inaugural 2010 vintage, Porseleinberg has been widely regarded as one of the finest wines in South Africa and a world-class Syrah. The property is owned by renowned producer, Boekenhoutskloof but is run as an entirely separate operation. The vines grow in extremely dry, marginal conditions on blue schist, with very little topsoil. Winemaker Callie Louw is known for his powerfully structured Old World styled Syrahs and is clearly inspired by the likes of Cote Rotie's legendary Jamet. This is one of most sought-after and hard to come by wines from South Africa.

Availability: 4 weeks

Case size: 12 / Bottle size: 750ml

Duty Status
From £500.00

Critics Score: 98

Publication: Tim Atkin MW

Drinking Dates: 2024-2032

"We pick the vintage," says Callie Louw, whose 2020 Porseleinberg is the second lightest in alcohol he's ever made at 13.6%. Fermented with 100% whole bunches using the submerged cap technique that transformed the wine in 2018, this is another scented, seamless stunner from Callie Louw. Aged in large foudres and 5% concrete eggs, it's a spicy, sappy, hauntingly elegant Syrah from a brutal site, with kelp, rose petal and fynbos aromas, juicy bramble and red berry fruit, fine tannins and a wonderful sense of energy.
During my fortnight in the Cape, I met winemaker Callie Low twice. the second time at Boekenhoutskloof, where he presented the latest release. "It was a nice vintage, perhaps 2015 with a bit of heat," he tells me with his usual casual insouciance that belies an extraordinarily talented and dedicated winemaker. "It was a bit dry. Winter of 2019 was bad, but then we had nice rain in October with an inch and a half, dry in November that was great for fruit set. The rain was sporadic afterwards, which is great for the vines.

The Goldmine site, the vineyard next to Roundstone [Chris and Andrea Mullineux's farm] had more problems with disease due to humidity. January was nice and warm, not as hot as 2022. The sugars came quickly, and I finished the harvest in 10 to 14 days. We finished the Goldmine farm 14 March. There was no heat stress, and the yield was light due to the previous year's drought, around 5 tons per hectare. The wine is matured for 12 months in foudres, blended in concrete and then aged 16 months in bottle. There is often too much [juice] for the tank that risks attracting flies, so live been trying de-stemming a little bit. When I saw the submerged cap at Jamet [the famed Rhône producer], it was a light bulb moment and I've submerged the cap since 2018. Some people say that I have changed the style of Porseleinberg, but that's not true. I don't know how to." - Neal Martin, Vinous