Sunday, January 16, 2005

Winecology: Porcupine Ridge Syrah - South Africa - 2003

Porcupine Ridge is the second label of South Africa's Boekenhoutskloof Winery. Operating from this winery located on South Africa's Western Cape, winemaker Marc Kent is touted as "the inspiration for a new generation of South African winemakers." What's more his syrahs are heralded as the best "ever to have been made in South Africa." Talk about expectations. Marc's inspiration for Syrah is the Cornas appellation in France's Northern Rhone. His philosophy is to create more natural wines without an overdose of tannins or oak exposure. He succeeds with the 2003 effort.

The wine was nearly black, but closer to a deep and inky purple color in the glass. It breathed a pronounced and interesting barnyard with dark fruits and black pepper spice. The nose carried through seamlessly to the palette. Fruit was well concentrated and complimented by more black pepper and smoked bacon. The mid-palette offered a gentle bite from tannins which lasted into a solid finish.

As good as $11 syrah will probably ever get.

Rating - 9.0 out of 10
Price - $11