Porseleinberg Syrah 2021

By , 2 October 2023



The 2021 harvest at Swartland property Porseleinberg was cool and hence later than usual. This might suggest a wine of extra power, but it initially appears rather pretty and relatively light bodied (despite an alcohol of 13.9%).

As has been widely discussed, winemaker Callie Louw implemented submerged cap vinification in 2018 allowing for slower, more gentle extraction. The 2021 is again super-elegant with a compelling tension about it, the tannins possessing a powdery texture. It’s not short of flavour intensity but Louw achieves this without any sense of the wine being overworked. For all the wine’s outward ease and gentleness, there is still a certain underlying firmness, the finish being deeply savoury, almost earthy. In fact, the wine turns inwards rather than opening up with time in glass – it should mature with benefit over the next decade or so. Price: R750 a bottle.  

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Read Greg Sherwood MW’s report on a recent Porseleinberg vertical tasting here.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


3 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

    Greg Sherwood | 2 October 2023

    Seems you aren’t a big fan of the cooler, fresher style Christian? For me, the 2021 stands head and shoulders above all the vintages that have come before. Some might be bigger and denser for sure, but the 2021 has true “fine wine” elegance and precision.

      Christian Eedes | 2 October 2023

      Hi Greg, The high reputation of the 2021 vintage precedes it but it’s worth noting that in the case of Porseleinberg, the 2021 has an alcohol of 13.9% compared to the 2020’s 13.6%, which I rated 97 on release. This is a young project and clearly winemaker Louw is still experimenting stylistically – I know quite a few wine lovers who miss the “grunt” the wine showed prior to the submerged cap technique being applied. I would argue that if it was too raw in early vintages, it’s perhaps gone too far the other way recently and my sense is that the best rendition of the wine lies ahead. Regardless, a score of 95 should surely not be seen as sub-par…

    Kwispedoor | 2 October 2023

    Such a characterful wine, and a spankingly good vintage. I thought this was fantastic. It should also bring much pleasure for many years to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.