Spice Route, Swartland Mourvèdre is dense and intense, with opulent aromas of black cherry, raspberry, cardamom and wild herbs. The palate is brimming with juicy black and red fruit flavours, tempered by a subtle savoury edge. It is medium bodied, with ripe tannins and well-integrated oak.
|Style||Dry, Red, Medium Bodied, Black and Red Fruit, Herbs and Spices, Oak, Smooth, Intense, Savoury|
About the region and producer
Charles Back was a pioneer in the Swartland when he started Spice Route in 1998 after tasting an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc and immediately buying the land on which it was grown. "Without [Charles]…the Swartland would still be regarded as a rural backwater" wrote Tim Atkin, who awarded the winery ‘Cru Bourgeois’ status in his South Africa Classification in 2019. Today, the region is the source of many of South Africa’s outstanding wines, yet Spice Route remains one of the best and most credible producers in the region, due largely to the fact that they own their own vineyards. Spice Route’s 100 hectares of vineyards are situated in Malmesbury and Darling. The former, all bush trained on Malmesbury shale and red clay subsoils (the clay allows the vineyards to be dry grown), give the Grenache and Mourvèdre the intensity of fruit that makes this region so exciting.
Winemaker Charl du Plessis has been with Charles since 2002 and knows the region intimately. The winemaking is ‘hands-off’, as Charles is keen to capture the flavours and structure of the outstanding fruit he has grown. In fact, despite the desert-like conditions of the region, the vines are not even irrigated. The signature wine is the ‘Chakalaka’, a blend of six different grape varieties. The name is derived from a spicy South African relish which is similarly a fusion of different flavours. A blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Carignan, Petite Sirah and Tannat, it has great intensity, a Rhône-style depth and supple tannins.
Swartland is a hot and dry area, although it benefits to some degree from the Atlantic Ocean’s cooling effect on its western border. Producers such as Spice Route and Thorne & Daughters specialise in producing high quality wines from varieties such as Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Rhône-inspired blends.
Vineyard and Wine Making
Spice Route, Swartland Mourvèdre is producing some of the most exciting wines in the Swartland. The grapes were harvested from unirrigated bushvines, which were originally planted in 2001 on deep Koffieklip and Oakleaf soils. The average yield was 4.5 tons per hectare.
The grapes for Spice Route, Swartland Mourvèdre were hand harvested, destemmed and lightly crushed into open concrete fermenters. Manual punch downs were performed three times a day during fermentation. Fermentation lasted seven days, after which the wine was pressed off the skins and racked to barrel. The wine was matured in barrel for a period of 16 months using a combination of second (35%), third (35%) and fourth (30%) fill French oak barrels. 20% of the wine was matured in Qvevris for a period of four months, which enhanced the mouthfeel and complexity of the wine.
We offer free delivery for some orders:
- Mainland UK orders over £150.00
- Local orders over £65.00
We offer free local deliveries within Dundee and the surrounding areas (DD1 to DD6) for orders over £65.00. The delivery charge for orders less than £65.00 is £5.99.
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