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Producer: Swartland WineryGrape Varieties: Syrah 100%Optimum Drinking: Within 6 yearsWine Style: Full bodied complex redAlcohol by Volume: 14%Closure: ScrewcapCountry: South Africa
Forthcoming and complex aromas of dark berries such as mulberries and plums are complemented by notes of white peppery spice, chocolate and an earthy smokiness. A complex and well balanced palate with firm tannins and chocolate and sweet scented violet flavours, leads to a lingering finish.
Big open skies, arid deserts, the vast flowing landscape, with its unforgiving climate and rugged bush vines, this is wild country, this is Swartland. The contrast with manicured Constantia and oh-so-cool Stellenbosch couldn't be greater. But right now, Swartland is the most exciting wine region in South Africa. A new wave of winemakers are making ground-breaking wines from Rhône varietals and it is part of a revolution that has got everybody talking. The Swartland Winery is producing iconic and award winning wines in this fashionable and dynamic region, so we have joined forces with them to create a unique, distinctive and expressive wine range that has been masterfully blended for the UK palate. We think something this good, is definitely worth talking about!
Hot conditions throughout the 2016 vintage, coupled with extreme drought brought about very little disease pressure resulting in very healthy grapes and low yields. The wines from 2016 are complex with concentrated, ripe flavours.
The Swartland name originates from a description of the indigenous "renosterbos" or rhino bush, which appears to turn black, ("Swart" in Afrikaans), during the summer months. This hot, dry climate has an average temperature range of 25°C to 35°C and an annual rainfall of 450 mm and 600mm, but the altitude of these vineyards creates a cool oasis in this arid landscape. Minimal intervention and environmentally friendly farming practices are paramount. Sowing cover crops between the vines provides protection from the winter rains and also maintains the valuable mineral content, nutrients and moisture during the hot summers. 80% of the vineyards are small bush vines with an average yield of six tonnes per hectare; the quality of fruit is exceptional. The soil types vary, but Malmesbury Shale dominates, with small patches of granite and Table Mountain sandstone. The gravel sub-structure of the soil promotes good moisture retention, essential in this hot, dry climate.
The grapes were harvested at optimal phenolic ripeness. Fermentation took place at 26°C and lasted for seven days, with pump-overs and aeration every four hours. Following fermentation the wine was drained and the grapes were pressed. Malolactic fermentation took place, softening the resulting wine. The wine was filtered and stored in stainless steel tank until bottling, retaining the pure fruit character.
Delicious with red meats and stews; or a rich risotto dish.
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