Swartland red blends re-assessed

Earlier this year, I rated the Malabar 2012, the Rhône-style red blend from Charles Back’s Swarland operation Spice Route, 90 on the 100-point quality scale (see here). Once the score was published, Back expressed his disappointment saying “After all the time and effort we’ve invested in this project, I thought we’d be further ahead”.  Out […]

October 13, 2016
by Christian
with 5 Comments

Spice Route Malabar 2012

Spice Route was acquired by Charles Back in the late 1990s out of conviction that the Swartland was utilised and the maiden vintage of this deluxe Rhône-style red blend was 2002, the 2012 the eighth to be released so evidently a few vintages declassified for whatever reason. The 2012 consists of 73% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre, […]

August 24, 2016
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2014

With Ken Forrester The FMC 2012 selling for R350 a bottle from the tasting room and DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 chasing hard at R197.50 a bottle, it’s tempting to conclude that local Chenin is on its way to being priced in line with its international counterparts. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, there are still plenty […]

January 12, 2015
by Christian Eedes
with 0 Comments

Chocolate and wine pairings in the winelands

Don’t believe those stick-in-the-muds who say that chocolate doesn’t pair with wine. When done well, there are few things as deliciously decadent. It’s a match made in heaven, if you will. But finding the perfect combination is a challenge. Wine’s acidity and tannin can clash with the creaminess and subtle flavor nuances of chocolate. So, […]

November 6, 2014
by Emma Odendaal
with 1 Comment

Family-friendly wine farms

A decent glass of wine and a happy child needn’t be mutually exclusive. These are some of my favourite wine farms that are geared towards wine lovers with kids. Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek Wine fundis know Cape Point Vineyards for its superb Sauvignon Blanc Reserve and white blend called Isliedh but people also flock here […]

October 8, 2014
by Emma Odendaal
with 2 Comments

Spice Route Terra de Bron Darling Syrah 2012

Convinced that the Swartland was under-utilised, Charles Back acquired property here in the late 1990s – Klein Amoskuil outside Malmesbury where he intended to focus on Rhône varieties as well as vineyards in Darling Hills which was to be primarily a source of Sauvignon Blanc. Darling became a district in its own right in 2003 […]

September 4, 2014
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Spice Route Grenache 2012

Further evidence how “on trend” Grenache is comes with the release of the maiden vintage 2012 (R90 a bottle) from Spice Route owned by the ever canny Charles Back. The wine comes from Swartland vineyards planted in 2008. Some of the fermentation occurred in tank and the rest in concrete and maturation lasted 15 months […]

March 13, 2014
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2012

I’m not sure where you’re going to get Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2012 because it’s sold out from the winery and we made short work of the last two bottles available at Chapmans Peak Hotel over lunch yesterday, but it’s delicious. Pear and white peach, well integrated oak and really snappy acidity before a saline […]

May 27, 2013
by Christian
with 1 Comment
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with SA fine wine.

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