#309 Swerwer Red Blend 2021


Wine of Origin Swartland. The wine made up of an 85% component of co-fermented Grenache Noir and Cinsault. The parcel is partially whole-bunch fermented with native yeasts, and later blended with a small component of Tinta Barocca. The two parcels are then blended into a large old oak foudre, and allowed to rest for 11 months before bottling.
Alc 12.9 % | RS 1.7 g/L | TA 5.2 g/L


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What is a Swartland Red Blend?

Every couple of years, within the South African wine industry, a journalist will pose the question: “Should we still be using the term “Bordeaux-style Blend” to refer to our Cab Sauv / Merlot / Cab Franc blends… Or should we be more confident in our unique identity and come up with something completely new? The general consensus is usually that any minor ego boost that the industry might get from coining its own name for what everyone knows is a Bordeaux Blend will be summarily crushed by the weight of the blank stares from the foreign wine market. And so it is that the issues is laid to rest for a while. And while that issue sleeps, someone from one of the many organisational bodies within the South African wine Industry will attempt to redefine what a “Cape Blend” should be, with heritage nuts pushing to raise the mandatory minimum amount of Pinotage, with everyone else begging to have Pinotage to be removed as a requirement altogether. And then one side or other wins, for the moment, and the required level of Pinotage goes up – or down – for the moment, and then we all sit around waiting for the Bordeaux Blend committe to wake up again.
BUT one wine blend discussion that seems to be effortlessly driving itself into ever increasing clarity is that of the conversation around what defines a “Swartland Red Blend”. Perhaps it is the unique patchwork-quilt-style wine culture that the region has inherited, or simply the fact that the region is riding high on the bravado that comes from two decades of global acclaim, but it is undeniable that the Swartland has carved out a unique wine blending style that is fast garnering a solid fan base amongst the world’s more adventurous fine wine drinkers.
In today’s video we talk about how Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca are fast becoming inextricably linked within the Swartland region and the core elements to a Swartland Red Blend, but we then zoom in further on the three cultivars of Grenache, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca, and examine how their drought resistance gives them a competitive edge in the Swartland that may begin to erode Syrah’s position as the darling cultivar of the district.
If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won’t be able to taste what we feel is an absolutely exemplary bottling – the Swerwer Red Blend 2021. Hopefully you’ll be able to hunt this wine down in your own time, but until you do, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs to keep you going:


👃🏼 A moderate nose of raspberry, dried mediterranean herbs, salty red liquorice, red plum fruit,  and a touch of wild flowers.
👄 The palate is clean and bright pinot-noir-esque burst of quite intense sour cherry, fragrant raspberry and slow-rise savoury umami elements. The tannins are supremely dainty, and most of the structures arises from the intense super-focussed tart raspberry and sour cherry acidity. The tail end leaves one with wafts of white pepper, raspberry sherbet and cherry candy.

Three Swartland Tinta Baroccas

#268 Fledge and Co Old Vine Tinta Barocca 2020

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#246 City on a Hill Tinta das Baroccas 2020

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#151 Allesverloren Tinta Barocca 2018

watch video