That the Syrah 1994 from Stellenbosch property Stellenzicht rated higher than the 1990 vintage of the iconic Grange Hermitage in the notorious SAA Shield tasting of 1995 which saw South Africa pitched against Australia has become the stuff of local wine legend (the wine gains further intrigue after incumbent winemaker Guy Webber reveals that according to the records, it included a small portion of Merlot).
That same 4ha block which produced the 1994 acquired official single vineyard status in 2006 and the 2007 vintage now re-named Plum Pudding Hill has just been released (R170 a bottle).
“It might not be the greatest Shiraz in the world but what it is, is an expression of an exceptional site,” says Webber. It’s big and burly (15.19% abv) as previous vintages have always tended to be – red and black fruit, pepper and spice, a touch of reduction. On the palate, it’s sweet fruited with moderate acidity and still possessing some tannic grip. Perhaps a bit out of fashion stylistically but then surely the whole point of single vineyards wines is about being true to the site rather than being “on trend”.