Spice Route are established in Swartland, north of Cape Town, then rather better known for its wheat than its wine. However, the producers saw advantageous the mixed clay-gravel laterite and deep, red, decomposed granite soils; in the hot, dry summers of the Cape these soils retain moisture well and remain cool. A surprising feature of this hot, arid region is the relatively cool nights, which help to slow the ripening process.
41% Syrah, 17% Carignan, 15% Mourvedre, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Grenache and 7% Tannat.
The grapes were hand-harvested, destalked and lightly crushed, they were then fermented in open concrete fermenters (‘kuipe’). Manual punching down took place during fermentation. The wines were then racked off and sent to barrels for malolactic fermentation and further ageing. Each wine component for the blend was matured in seasoned French and American oak for 12 months before blending occurred.
Drink now and over the next 12 months.
Spice Route is the creation of Charles Back, who also owns Fairview in Paarl (and you may have heard of his fair trade creation, Goats do Roam). After Fairview was established as one of South Africa's most popular wineries, in 1997 Back saw fit to continue his successes in the Swartland region. 40 year old vines were carefully nurtured and new warm-climate reds were planted, orchestrating a rapid turnaround in the Klein Amoskuil farm on which the new winery is based.
Inevitably we suggest something spicy - a gentle chicken curry or even lamb would work; but nothing too fiery!
In the press
Silver- Decanter World Wine Awards 2014
Silver- Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 (2010 Vintage)
Silver- Sommelier Wine Awards 2013 (2010 Vintage)
Bronze- International Wine Challenge 2014
Bronze- Sommelier Wine Awards 2014