A Fine Pair of South African Syrahs…

Saturday night was spent with good friends in Midhurst, deep in the West Sussex countryside. While Storm Angus was rattling the roof tiles outside, we were safely indoors enjoying a pair of beautiful Autumnal reds alongside a fabulous slow cooked dinner of beef bourguignon. 

Hearty food demands hearty reds and we had Jurgen Gouws’ youthful Intellego 2015 Syrah from the Swartland, and a mature Boekenhoutskloof 2006 Syrah, made from Wellington fruit, to enjoy. 


Jurgen Gouws’ Intellego Wines focus on sourcing grapes from different parcels in the Swartland and also farming some of them. Working in close collaboration with several growers, Jurgen secures high quality fruit which is very expressive of the Swartland region including Cinsaut, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Chenin Blanc. All the wines are made in a small winery that Jurgen rents in the Paardeberg. Keeping the Intellego Syrah in its purist form is the best way to express these granitic soil sites. 

We drank the fresh, vibrant Intellego while the 10 year old Boekenhoutskloof Syrah breathed in a decanter. Made from grapes bought from Schalk Burger & Sons’ Welbedacht Estate in Wellington, the quality of these Syrah grapes have long been revered and indeed, the source of this fruit was for many years one of the best kept secrets in the SA wine industry.

Four hour slow cooked Beef Bourguignon

Tasting Note: Intellego Syrah 2015, Swartland ~ Rich opulent nose of smoked meats, blackberries, red peppercorns and savoury spice. Woodsmoke, charcoal and cassis. Sweet fruit, concentrated damson plums, spicy steak tartar, and burnt oranges. Suave, fine boned and very elegant. Positively light on its feet with plenty of classical restraint (93+/100).

Tasting Note: Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2006, WO Coastal ~ Dusty, earthy saw dust wood spice nose initially. Plenty of black berry, black chocolate, beetroot, and lovely seductive earthy complexity. Melange of Autumnal notes, bramble berries and forest floor complexity. Lush, plush and still very youthful. Class act (94+/100).

Many thanks to our friends Ben and Sarah for the lovely weekend. 

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