‘Spice up your Life’ embarking on a journey of flavours and aromas as you discover Spice Route’s Spice Range of Wines featuring Saffron Rosé 2023, Tarragon Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2023 (New Release) and Chakalaka Rhône-Style Red Blend 2021. This range of versatile food wines will add flair and flavour to any occasion just as spices add depth and dimension to a dish. Savour the artistry of wine and food harmony when you enjoy these wines with complementary cuisine.
SPICE ROUTE SAFFRON ROSÉ 2023
New Vintage Release Retail Price: R150
Saffron is a dry barrel fermented Rosé made from low yielding Grenache Noir bush vines in Darling.
The Story: As dawn reveals another day, specialised pickers gather in the seemingly endless fields of violet-blue flowers to begin harvest of the world’s most precious spice – saffron. One by one, each of the three stigmas is pulled out of the delicate flower and dried by hand – a lengthy process that makes the spice cost almost as much as gold. Much like this hand-harvested exotic spice, Spice Route’s grape selection is equally as rigorous. With low yielding bush vines grown in unique vineyards, the winemaking team is careful to ensure only unblemished bunches undergo light pressing, releasing sensual floral and honey-like aromas.
In the Vineyard: The Grenache Noir grapes are selected from low yielding bush vines from Spice Route’s Darling vineyards, planted in some of the country’s finest red oakleaf soils overlooking the cold Atlantic Ocean.
In the Cellar: All the grapes were handpicked and delivered to the cellar for hand sorting and gentle pressing. The individual components were fermented in old 500L French oak barrels. After fermentation, the wine was kept in barrel under temperature control for 7 months. Only 8x 500L barrels of wine were produced.
Winemaker’s Comments: “These selected parcels from our Darling vineyards give us higher natural acidity and guaranteed freshness. Enjoy!” – Charl du Plessis
In the Glass: Light to pale in colour with delicate aromas of pomegranate and summer berries with sensual floral and honey-like notes. Subtle oaking gives a delectable creaminess to the palate. Expect flavours of crunchy melon and a tarty freshness with a saline finish.
Food Recommendation: Served chilled, the Saffron Rosé is a masterful match for almost any dish. It is especially delicious with seafood paella, prosciutto and melon salad, charcuterie, smoked salmon or salade niçoise and is ideal for alfresco lunches and country picnics. Neil and Tina Jewell of Jewell’s Restaurant at the Spice Route Destination recommend pairing the Spice Route Saffron Rosé 2023 with their Custard Tart and Rhubarb Sorbet – see picture below.
Recognition: Previous vintages of Saffron Rosé have received prestigious awards and admirable ratings including Grand Cru National Champion Best in Class, Double Platinum and Double Golds at the National Wine Challenge/Top 100 SA Wines, Double Golds at Rosé Rocks and 90 plus point ratings in Tim Atkin’s SA Wine Report.
SPICE ROUTE TARRAGON OLD VINE CHENIN BLANC 2023
New Wine Release Retail price: R150
Tarragon is a complex fruity barrel fermented Chenin Blanc made from dryland old vines in the Swartland.
The Story: Tarragon is one of the four finest herbs of French cooking and is the main flavouring component of the classic Béarnaise sauce. Irresistibly creamy and buttery it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect. In the same way Spice Route’s old dryland Chenin Blanc vines have taken 45 years to produce a wine of deep distinctive character, reflecting their years of struggle and sense of place. The quality, complexity and concentration of the fruit is testament to the character of these magnificent old vines.
In the Vineyard: Produced from a Swartland vineyard planted in 1978. These trellised vineyards are planted on a south-east facing slope and are dryland farmed. The soils are predominantly koffieklip (decomposed granite and iron-rich clay).
In the Cellar: Late picking only commenced on the 24 February 2023, all handpicked at 23 degrees balling. The bunches were destalked and gently pressed before settling for 48 hours in stainless steel tanks. Thereafter, the juice was transferred to 500L French barrels for fermentation (12% new oak barrels). The wine spent 8 months in the barrel before bottling.
Winemaker’s Comments: “In its 45th year in the ground, this vineyard keeps producing grapes that truly reflect why the Swartland and Chenin Blanc from the Swartland especially, is so unbelievably special. Enjoy!” – Charl du Plessis
In the Glass: Complex and layered aromas of fresh pineapple, candied fruit and honey greet you on the nose, with hints of yellow stone fruit and fresh lime. The palate shows vibrant tropical and citrus fruit flavours with a moreish, full creamy mouthfeel from the time spent in oak and a lingering finish.
Food Recommendation: This food friendly wine will be delicious with grilled line fish, calamari and mussels. Given some time in the bottle, it will be a great companion to rich crustaceans or some lightly spiced dishes. Neil and Tina Jewell of Jewell’s Restaurant at the Spice Route Destination recommend pairing the Spice Route Tarragon Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2023 with their Cajun Rubbed Tuna Loin, Sweetcorn Salsa and Avocado – see picture below.
SPICE ROUTE CHAKALAKA 2021
New Vintage Release Retail price: R195
Chakalaka is Spice Route’s signature Rhône-style red blend, synonymous with the extraordinary success of this pioneering winery that initiated the renaissance of the Swartland wine region. It is a unique blend of 6 Rhône varietals – Carignan, Shiraz, Mataro (Mourvèdre), Durif (Petite Sirah), Grenache Noir and Tannat.
The Story: Chakalaka, a Zulu word that implies togetherness, refers to a truly South African blend of spices, used to add flavour to local dishes. A reflection of the “Rainbow Nation”, this wine, a similar fusion of different flavours, is inspired by South Africa’s cultural diversity.
Winemaker’s Comment: “Traditional practices in the vineyards and a delicate hand in the cellar craft the Spice Route Chakalaka blend: a sum of many parts selected for their ability to express the soils of the Swartland wine region harmoniously, to reflect a unique sense of place. Like a perfect combination of spices, this wine harmoniously brings together many different vineyards and varieties, the profiles complementing each other to make the wine shine. Enjoy!” – Charl du Plessis
In the Vineyard: Fruit for this wine is sourced from dry-farmed bush vines (uniquely suited to the Swartland’s harsh growing conditions) planted on Richter 99 rootstock, (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. The grapes are hand harvested with an average yield between 2.5 and 4.5 tons per hectare.
In the Cellar: The six hand harvested varietals are kept separate during the winemaking process until the final blending when they will each make their own unique contribution to create this exciting wine. Destalking and light crushing is followed by fermentation in open concrete fermenters (‘kuipe’) with regular manual punch downs. The wines were then racked off and sent to barrel for malolactic fermentation and 12 months maturation in older French and American oak for 12 months. Post blending, the final wine was returned to the oak barrels for further maturation.
In the Glass: A deep ruby red in the glass, this aromatic, rich and robust velvety wine displays ripe juicy black currant, cherry and plum notes with lovely purity, with white pepper, spiced meats, smoky cloves, nutmeg and vanilla complementing the wine’s bold fruit character. Full-bodied, intense, silky and smooth with a rich texture, the palate has Rhône-style depth with skilfully integrated oak, smooth structured tannins and a lingering spice finish.
Food Recommendation: Chakalaka is a fantastic food wine. Just as the Chakalaka spicy South African relish adds the WOW factor to any dish, so too the Spice Route Chakalaka, equally at home at a fancy restaurant or around the fire, enriches any occasion with delectable flavour and local flair. Chakalaka, of course, likes spice. After all, ‘spice is the spice of life!” Think intensely flavoured South African cuisine like curry, bobotie, braaied spicy meat (Shisa Nyama – served with Chakalaka relish and pap), Middle Eastern and Asian inspired cuisine. Keeping it close to home, Chakalaka is a perfect complement to celebrated chef and charcuterie whizz, Neil Jewell’s famous charcuterie, available at Jewell’s Restaurant and Deli at the Spice Route Destination in Paarl – see picture below.
Recognition: Spice Route Chakalaka’s acclaim over the years includes 5 stars, Gold medals and a Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards, Top 100 awards, Double Platinum and Grand Cru National Champion at the National Wine Challenge, excellent ratings by Tim Atkin and Platter’s SA Wine Guide and more.
Spice Route Winery’s name recalls the ancient mariners of the 15th century braved uncharted seas to round the Cape of Good Hope in search of exotic spices. In much the same way Charles Back’s search for exceptional vineyards took him sailing into the uncharted waters of the Swartland. Synonymous with exploration, adventure and innovation, Spice Route’s’ journey of discovery is on-going, venturing out further into the Western Cape’s wine regions in a quest to discover more extraordinary vineyards to expand their wine offering.
SPICE ROUTE – THE DESTINATION
The Spice Route journey continued to the Paarl Winelands with the launch of the Spice Route Destination, giving wine lovers a more conveniently located venue to explore the Spice Route wines at the tasting room and at Jewell’s farm-to-table eatery where celebrated chef and charcuterie whizz Neil Jewell, together with his wife Tina Jewell, are at the helm, where the freshest ingredients meet culinary expertise. Situated on the slopes of the scenic Paarl Mountains with panoramic views, right next to Fairview, Spice Route, the ultimate family destination, is home to a carefully curated selection of 13 exciting and varied artisanal producers including Spice Route wines, Jewell’s and other restaurants, a gin distillery, deli, art studio, ceramic studio, décor and gift shop, adventure trails, a pilates studio plus chocolate, ice-cream and craft beer tastings and a popular outdoor kids’ play area. A journey of discovery of exotic flavours and experiences is right on your doorstep, a mere 45-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre. For more info visit www.spiceroute.co.za/artisans/
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