Quoin Rock Syrah 2003
By Christian Eedes, 23 November 2020
Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch is today owned by the Ukrainian Gaiduk family with Schalk Opperman, previously of Lammershoek, recently installed as a winemaker. It is a property that has had its ups and downs over a relatively short history having been set up by maverick businessman Dave King in the late 1990s with New Zealand winemaker Rod Easthope as consultant. 2003 was the first year that Carl van der Merwe was solely in charge of the cellar and his wines were soon much-acclaimed before he left for DeMorgenzon (and has now left South Africa to make wine in Canada).
The Syrah 2003, which was judged best in category at the Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show (subsequently rebranded as the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show), is still drinking well now. Made predominantly from first-crop own fruit but including a small portion of bough it in from Devon Valley, it was matured for 18 months in French oak, 25% new. With an alcohol of 15.1%, it’s always been a hugely concentrated wine and this has helped it’s maturation – the nose currently shows dark fruit, earth, pepper and other spice, lavender, a touch of leather, liquorice and malt while the palate is rich and broad with a gently savoury finish. It still makes for hearty drinking but it has to be said that the category has moved on quite a bit since this first came out.
CE’s rating: 91/100.
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