Chakalaka 2009 the 5-star Swartland wine
Nancy Gilchrist recently tasted our Spice Route Chakalaka 2009 as part of a South Afican tasting for the Decanter magazine.
We’ve always believed the over £10 category is the category where South African wines excel, and the conclusion she draws from her tasting proves this point.
“The Chakalaka 2009 is an excellent example of a wine that illustrates the unique attributes of the Swartland terroir, especially with the inclusion of Petit Sirah and Tannat adding their unique characteristics to the wine.” Charl du Plessis – winemaker
Decanter Magazine – Experts Choice (April issue 2012)
“For wine lovers willing to experiment at the over £10 level, there has never been a better time to discover what South Africa has to offer. The scope and quality from here has diversified and improved beyond measure. From recent tastings I have sifted and sorted the standout wines and whittled them down to just 20.
Certain patterns have emerged:
Cool viticulture regions – Elgin, Elim and Walker Bay are starting to put their own identifiable stamp on their wines, especially with Sauvignon Blanc and to a lesser extent Chardonnay.
Minerality – In the top quality wines, especially the whites, there is a lithe acidity and an unmistakable, enlivening exciting seam of minerality that speaks of soil and of terroir.
Better-controlled alcohol – Along with minerality and fresher acidity, there is also a greater poise and sense that alcohols are more in balance.
Red wine blends – There is a recognition that blends are capable of raising the game – whether of Bordeaux grapes, more individual concoctions (often with a smidgeon of Pinotage) or increasingly Rhône grapes.
Technical competence – With experience comes knowledge and expertise. Wines are beginning to show the true potential of which the region is capable. Where oak is used, for example, it is sensitively applied, where there are tannins, they are generally more supple.
Attitude – There is, among the selection of wines, an important common denominator: the willingness of the winemakers to embrace wine knowledge, both old and new, and to apply it with tenderness.”