2021 Porseleinberg, Swartland, South Africa

2021 Porseleinberg, Swartland, South Africa

Product: 20218030566
 
2021 Porseleinberg, Swartland, South Africa

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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Description

The 2021 Porseleinberg is whole bunch fermented and aged for 12 months in foudres. I gave my glass plenty of aeration. Chatting with winemaker Callie Louw, this wine can be closed, this being the first time I had tasted it at the remote Swartland estate. It has a compelling bouquet with fabulous delineation, a mélange of, say, one-third red and two-thirds black fruit, hints of iron filings and reflecting its soils, slate-like scents. Obstinately backward, after 10 minutes, it positively blossoms in the glass.

The palate is medium-bodied, with filigree tannins framing the mineral-rich black fruit. Plenty of extract is interwoven, but perhaps unlike the vintages of old, Louw's winemaking sense means that it's not immediately tangible. A discrete build in the mouth reveals hidden layers as it sashays towards its crunchy finish and then delivers a dash of cracked black pepper on the aftertaste. Outstanding…but what else do we expect?

Drink 2026 - 2045

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (August 2023)

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous97/100

The 2021 Porseleinberg is whole bunch fermented and aged for 12 months in foudres. I gave my glass plenty of aeration. Chatting with winemaker Callie Louw, this wine can be closed, this being the first time I had tasted it at the remote Swartland estate. It has a compelling bouquet with fabulous delineation, a mélange of, say, one-third red and two-thirds black fruit, hints of iron filings and reflecting its soils, slate-like scents. Obstinately backward, after 10 minutes, it positively blossoms in the glass.

The palate is medium-bodied, with filigree tannins framing the mineral-rich black fruit. Plenty of extract is interwoven, but perhaps unlike the vintages of old, Louw's winemaking sense means that it's not immediately tangible. A discrete build in the mouth reveals hidden layers as it sashays towards its crunchy finish and then delivers a dash of cracked black pepper on the aftertaste. Outstanding…but what else do we expect?

Drink 2026 - 2045

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (August 2023)

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Jancis Robinson MW17++/20

100% Syrah. The farm enjoyed a cold, wet winter with 390.5 mm of rain for the year. Budbreak was approximately two weeks late, starting during the first week of October. Cool, dry growing conditions kept disease pressure at bay, also resulting in a smaller berry-set, with smaller bunches. Some 34 mm of rain during early November was the mere difference between a difficult and a great vintage as from there on we received only 14 mm between mid November and the end of harvest, in March. A cool summer with minimal heatwaves resulted in a long, drawn-out vintage, allowing us to pick when grapes were at optimal ripeness.

The harvest started on 5 February and finished on 3 March – very extended. Grapes were hand-picked and crushed as whole bunches into concrete fermentation tanks. Minimal pumpovers were performed with the cap submerged; the ferments ran cool and dry within 10 days. Maturation took place over 12 months, 95% in foudre and 5% in concrete egg. Bottled 26 June 2022 in the new facility. 15% of the blend is from new, three-year-old plants. 4,000 cases produced. Released end of September 2023. TA 4.7 g/l, pH 4.1, RS 1.6 g/l.

Less-developed nose at the moment, still introvert but with the ingredients there.

Drink 2025 - 2040

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (September 2023)

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Wine Advocate95/100

Ripe yet still firm, the 2021 Syrah is fresh and savory with a delightfully floral element that sways with spicy and dark red-fruited essences. Medium-bodied, the palate is balanced, fresh and firmly structured with gripping tannins and an elegant mineral tension. The wine ends with a ripe and spicy finish. 47,000 bottles were produced after resting 12 months in foudre before bottle aging for 16 months. Between the 2020 and the 2021, the 2021 is the one you want. Just give it another year in bottle, and enjoy through the middle of the next decade.

Drink 2024 - 2036

Anthony Mueller, Wine Advocate (December 2023)

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James Suckling97/100

What an intense nose of charcuterie, grilled herbs, iron, black berry fruit and cracked pepper. Flavor explosion on the palate, too, with a full body, yet so much freshness with an underlying iron and peppercorn character. Firm, yet fine tannins.

Even better from 2025

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (December 2023)

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Tim Atkin MW99/100

Given its consistently outstanding quality, it’s easy to forget that the average age of Porseleinberg's 14 hectares of vineyards is only seven years' old. Showing what Callie Louw calls a "little more crunch" in 2021, this is a Syrah with time on its side. Wild herb aromas of sage, oregano and rosemary introduce you to a palate that's dense yet refined, with lots of whole bunch spice and structure, negligible oak influence, detailed, layered tannins, some underlying grip and layers of dark berry fruit. One of the world's great reds from a very special site.

Drink 2025 - 2032

Tim Atkin MW, TimAtkin.com (May 2023)

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About this WINE

Porseleinberg

Porseleinberg

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Swartland

Swartland

After Stellenbosch, the west coast district of Swartland (25 miles due north of Cape Town, between the towns of Malmesbury and Piketberg) now ranks as the Cape's most exciting wine-producing district.

Settled initially by nomadic Khoikhoi from Namibia, the Dutch brought trade and vines to the region in the 17th century. Viticulture was developed only more recently.

This contrasts with an ancient geology which has brought a mix of shale, arenite sandstone and granite soils air-conditioned by the Atlantic Ocean nearby.

Chenin Blanc and Shiraz seem to do best, as exemplified by the wines of Eben Sadie and Mullineux.

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Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

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