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Spice Route Grenache 2016

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Description

Description

Spice Route Grenache

Spice Route Grenache is a vibrant light red colour. Red berry fruit and subtle pepper harmonise with cardamom and iron-like spice. This elegantly built wine benefits from a lightness which does not hinder its complexity. Fine tannins and good acidity will help this wine evolve well over the next few years in bottle. As a single varietal, the Grenache is juicy and savoury with lovely tannins.

The new age of the Swartland commenced in 1997 when Charles Back stumbled across an old Tobacco farm, Klein Amoskuil, with a peculiar vineyard of Sauvignon Blanc – later to be discovered as the oldest in the country – just West of his native Paarl. Bewildered by its quality in a region better known for its wheat and rolling fynbos hills, the potential was obvious, so Charles set forth to acquire the farm and study its soils and extreme climate.

Charles Back was a pioneer in the Swartland when he started Spice Route in 1998.  “Without [Charles], the Swartland would still be regarded as a rural backwater” wrote Tim Atkin. Today, the region is the source of many of South Africa’s outstanding wine, 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 ensures the vineyards are dry grown), give the Grenache and Mourvedre the intensity of fruit that makes this region so exciting.

Winemaker Charl du Plessis has been with Charles for 15 years, and knows the region intricately.  The winemaking is ‘hands off’, as Charl is keen to capture the flavours and structure of the outstanding fruit he has grown.  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 Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Petite Sirah and Tannat, it has good intensity, a Rhone-ish depth and supple tannins.

Planted in 2006, these younger un-irrigated bushvines from Amoskuil farm have started to show promising results, with the potential to produce complex wines. Even the antelope that roam wild on the farm have particular preference for this vineyard, often nibbling on the low-hanging bushvine fruit

Fermented in open concrete fermenters with manual punching down of the skins. The wine was gently pressed off the skins and transferred to old French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, guaranteeing the integrity of its delicate fruit. The wine was matured for 14 months further in these barrels.

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Spice Route Grenache – Hay Wines

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