Thursday, February 14, 2008

2006 Spice Route Pinotage

On my tour of the South African section of the Boston Wine Expo I stopped at the table of the wines of Charles Back. You may be most familiar with their Goats do Roam portfolio. I like many of the wines in their portfolio and think they often offer very good value.

One of their other labels is Spice Route. Charles Back found the Spice Route Wine Company in 1997. He purchased the farm Klein Amoskuil in Malmesbury and it is now the home for his Swartland terroir-styled wines. They match traditional practices in the vineyards with modern, minimalist approaches in the cellar. The wines are made in small quantities, emphasizing high quality.

I tasted their 2006 Spice Route Pinotage (about $22-23). The wine is made from grapes in the Rheeboksfontein vineyards in the Swartland. The vines are grown on deep red oakleaf soils. The vineyard is trellised and is dryland farmed. The wine was matured in American oak barrels for 10 months. It has an alcohol content of 13.94%.

This wine was dark red in color with a spicy nose that followed through on the palate. This was a very spicy wine with dark berry accents and a tinge of vanilla. The tannins were well balanced and it was a very smooth drinking wine that lingered long in my mouth. I very much enjoyed this wine. It lacked any earthy components and was more about fruit and spice. For the price, this is a very good buy. It is complex, with excellent flavors and and a satisfying finish. A wine I definitely recommend.

And my streak of excellent South African wines at the Wine Expo continues.

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