Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2020

Tasting Notes

Boekenhoetskloof is recognized as one of the Capes top producers of premium wines, and their Syrah’s pedigree is beyond question. One of its main supply sources for its’ grapes comes  from one of South Africa’s most acclaimed vineyard for the varietal, Porseleinberg. The Porseleinberg  vineyard produces one of  South Africa’s greatest single vineyard offerings of Syrah, being named in honor of the vineyard it comes from, Porseleinberg.

The 2020 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah is sourced from two Swartland sites, from the aforementioned famous Porseleinberg vineyard, which comprises around 90%  of the wine, the remaining from the Goldmine farm.  So Boekenhoutskloof’s pedigree is not in question and it’s basically a mini-version of the Porseleinberg Syrah. What makes the deal is that the Boekenhoutskloof Syrah sells for a lot less than the now more famous Porseleinberg. The quality separation is negligible, where the Boekenhoutskloof Syrah received 97 pts MW Tim Atkin in his 2023 South African Special Report, while the 2020 Porseleinberg received 99 pts as well as being his South African Red Wine of the Year for 2023. It was also just reviewed by Greg Sherwood MW who scored it 96 pts and called it, “Very classy indeed.” It all falls into place that this is a top self Syrah that can compete with the finest. Terroir is the key here and it has a lineage that assures that this is great Syrah by anyone’s standards and is an exceptional value when compared with other top-shelf Syrah from around the world.

Winery: Boekenhoutskloof
Varietal: Shiraz
SKU: BOESYR2020 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2020


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97 pts Tim Atkin MW 2022
The 2020 Syrah is a 90/10 cuvée of grapes from the Porseleinberg and Goldmine properties and is another triumphant release from Marc Kent and Gottfried Mocke. Far from being a blockbuster, this is a subtle, layered wine, with aromas of violet and five-spice, subtle 60% whole bunches and flavours of bramble, blackberry and goji berry. Silky, scented and deftly oaked. 2023-32

96 pts Greg Sherwood MW Jan 2024
Boekenhoutskloof are now farming over 200 hectares of Swartland fruit from three farms. (The 2011 vintage included some Porseleinberg fruit.) Newer vintages consist of 90% Porseleinberg and 10% Goldmine Syrah from the farm next door to Mullineux’s Roundstone property. Deliciously youthful and grapey with notes of violets, lavender, sweet grilled herbs, charcoal embers and a leafy sapidity. Palate is super light on its feet with purity, black cherry elegance and pithy graphite hints, finishing with a weightless concentration and a soft blueberry complexity. Very classy indeed.

4 ½ Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Iodine, fynbos & white pepper nuances on Swartland on 20’s (93 pts) ripe, unforced plum & cherry fruit. Pure with enlivening stemmy grip & fine satin tannins from 60% wholebunch ferment in concrete, maturation in older & larger oak, Exhibits exceptional restrain in a challenging vintage.

93 pts Wine Advocate May 2024
The 2020 Syrah, crafted with 65% whole-cluster fruit, presents dark cherry, dusty florals and a hint of black pepper on the nose. It’s clean, fresh and correct, with a mineral-driven expression and a dusty floral sensation on the palate. Medium-bodied, the wine is spicy and will undoubtedly shine even brighter when paired with food. This Syrah aged for 18 months, with 90% in Stockinger foudre. It promises a delightful and versatile drinking experience, but decanting for 30 minutes is recommended. Exactly 47,852 bottles were produced. 2023-2034

Winemaker Notes

Grapes for our Boekenhoutskloof Syrah are picked from selected parcels of the finest Syrah, grown at our Swartland farms, namely Porseleinberg (88%) and Goldmine (12%), close to the small town of Riebeek-Kasteel. The Porseleinberg vineyards are planted on an extremely hard and rocky bedrock of decomposed Mica-Schist – a unique terroir within the appellation. The vineyards on Goldmine sit on the south-western slopes of the Kasteelberg and comprise of Brown Schist with deposits of Table Mountain Sandstone, which is weathered and washed from the adjacent mountain. The delicate combination of these two properties allow for this expression of both concentrated and structured
wines, made from this Rhône grape. The winter preceding the 2020 Swartland Syrah vintage offered suitable cold units during dormancy, ensuring a good start to the vineyard cycle. As late spring /early summer approached, the vines produced good fruit set, with even berry sizes. A moderately dry growing season followed, delivering average yields. We experienced moderate alcohol levels and lower pH levels, accompanied with bright fruit. Fortunately, 2020 Syrah won’t be remembered for extreme heat spikes which have become somewhat customary in recent years. These tend to put the Swartland harvests under pressure. The contrary provided a supremely elegant vintage for such a warm appellation.

Dark plums, black fruit and an intriguing savoury, gamey character dominate the rich, brooding nose with aromas of olive brine, exotic spice and gentle whiffs of cured meat, cardamom, and violets. Flavours of dark cherry, blackberries and mulberry follow through from the intense core of plummy fruit, with hints of red liquorice, cranberry and Szechuan pepper adding further complexity to the attractive sanguine character. The mid-palate is exceptionally smooth, round and lithe with superb complexity and elegance. The wine is focused, powerful and well-structured, yet shows finesse and plushness, with its silky-soft powdery tannins and perfectly integrated acidity to balance. White pepper, aniseed and cloves linger on a pure, focused finish, with subtle nuances of iron fer and tar. linger in the mouth, with gentle hints of aniseed and black cardamom.


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