JUST THE FACTS
Price: R120 (as of Feb 2017)
Winery: Spice Route Winery
Varietal: Grenache Noir
Wine Region: Swartland
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: Med-high
Occasion: The Ponce Club’s summer braai
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At R120 per bottle, this was by far the best value on the table in a blind tasting of 5 SA Grenaches, held at HDS HQ.
Tasting Notes: The nose is a huge Depardieu-type-affair of sweet marshmallow, some vanilla notes, and candied fruit.
On the palate, bright red berry acidity offsets the sweetness nicely, and rolls gently into a herbal rocket-leaf peppery finish. Mouthfeel is light and juicy, with enough layers to make you feel like you’re in mid-nineties Seattle.
Spice Route: Origins
In 1997, a dry, hot, dusty little patch of land (which was a tobacco farm back then) piqued the interest of Charles Back (owner of cheese and wine farm Fairview in Paarl) after he discovered a bizarre block of Sauvignon Blanc grapes tucked away on a corner of the lot. This little patch turned out to be home to South Africa’s oldest Sauvignon Blanc, and Charles very quickly did what needed to do toensure that it became his little patch of Sauvginon Blanc.
20 years later this farm in the Swartland has produced a Platter 5-star Grenache (the 2014 vintage) and continues to produce some exciting single varietal red wines of sublime rand-to-reward ratio.
If you’re wanting a low investment risk-free introduction to Grenache, honestly, this is your bag baby.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.