Spice Route, Chakalaka Swartland, 2018
Region: Swartland, Coastal Region, South Africa
Bottle size: 75cl
Grape: 26% Syrah 24% Mourvèdre 15% Grenache 15% Carignan
13% Durif 7% Tannat
Notes: Vegan, Practising organic
This wine is deep ruby in colour. On the nose, aromas of clove and subtle white pepper mingle with juicy blackberry and plum fruit. Full-bodied and rich, the palate displays well-integrated oak and smooth, structured tannins. Chakalaka, a Zulu word that implies togetherness, refers to a South African blend of spices, used to add flavour to local dishes. This wine is inspired by the unique combination of flavours.
Chakalaka is Spice Route's signature wine. It is a blend of six different grape varieties. The varieties: Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Tannat were selected for their suitability to the Swartland’s dry growing conditions. Fruit for this wine is sourced from dry-farmed bush vines, planted on Richter 99 rootstock, which is known for producing deep rooted vines. The region’s deep iron-rich clay and decomposed granite soils have a good water retaining capacity and produce elegant and robust red wines.
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.