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PRODUCER: 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.
WINEMAKING: The post-2019 harvest was hot and dry, with below-average rainfall (355mm). The vineyards experienced some relief with good rain in October and December and an inch recorded in January, saving the vintage. Sufficient moisture in the soil during flowering and fruit set resulted in bigger bunches and berries. The growing conditions were clean, with a minor threat of downy mildew during an unusually wet December.
The 2020 Porseleinberg harvest was one of the quickest and earliest to date. After the January rainfall, warm sunny conditions contributed to healthy, strong canopies, which aided in early Véraison and berry ripening. We started picking on 5th February and finished by the 19th.
Grapes were hand-picked and crushed as whole bunches into concrete fermentation tanks with the cap submerged. Minimal pump-overs were performed with the submerged cap, and the ferments ran cool and dry within ten days. Maturation took place over 12 months in 90% foudre & 10% concrete egg. Bottled mid-July 2021.
TASTING NOTES: Since the 2018 vintage, the submerged cap has fleshed out the mid-palate adding weight to the signature tannin profile that has become synonymous with Porseleinberg. 2020 is a clean-fruit forward vintage with pure red and black fruit on the palate. The tannins seem softer up front with the bigger berries, but the signature grainy grip still lingers on a savoury and spicy finish. This 2020 appears to be an earlier drinking vintage compared to previous vintages.