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Stellenzicht Plum Pudding Hill Syrah 2009

Plenty of grunt.

Plenty of grunt.

When it comes to Stellenbosch reds, 2007 and 2009 are highly regarded vintages on account of both being considerably cooler in the lead-up to harvest. Interestingly, however, the 2007 vintage of Plum Pudding Hill Syrah from Stellenzicht has an alcohol by volume of 15.19%, while the soon-to-be-released 2009 comes in significantly lower at 13.11% (no 2008 bottled).

What’s remarkable is how similar the two wines present.  When the 2007 was reviewed last year in August, I referred to it as “big and burly” (see here) and the 2009 is not short of weight and power, either.

Matured for 30 months in all-new oak (87% French and 13% East European), the wine shows more black than red fruit, black pepper and exotic spice. It’s rich and full with quite tart acidity and nicely grippy tannins. There’s little to choose between the two wines but the fruit definition on the 2009 is probably a shade better  by virtue of not having been picked quite so late and the wine is easier to drink due to the lower alcohol. Price: R180 a bottle.

Score: 89/100.

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2 Comments

  1. Christian EedesMarch 30, 2015 at 7:32 amReplyAuthor

    Hi Jan, My feeling is that the opulent style that Stellenzicht has always represented has become problematic given that an increasing number of producers are looking for elegance and refinement. There’s a place for very big wines but they are increasingly go to suffer in comparison to those that offer more drinkability.

  2. Jan CarlssonMarch 29, 2015 at 4:00 pmReply

    Hi Christian!
    Some of my favourite wine are Stellenzicht Syrah 2000 – 2002 which all drinks extremely well still (especially 2001). They all got good ratings on release 4 1/2 in Platter. The new vintages getting lower ratings in general. Is that due to poorer quality or just tougher competition and a raise of the barr? Hade the last 2000 year 2012 and that is the best syrah I have tasted so far.

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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 and now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with South African wine.