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Spice Route Chakalaka 2008

Other Red Blends from South Africa
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • WS89
  • RP89
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WS90
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4.1 8 Ratings
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4.1 8 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vibrant red colour. Ripe, dark fruit aromas with cloves coming through on the nose. Medium to full bodied with ripe spicy plums and dark cherry fruit flavors. Oak is restrained, but provides structure to back up the ripe flavors.

Blend: 51% Syrah, 16% Carignan, 11% Mourvedre, 11% Souzou, 8% Grenache, 2% Tannat, 1% Petite Sirah

The blend of red varietals represents a fusion of flavors, as does the unique, spicy South African relish from which Chakalaka takes its name.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Rich, but stylish and alluring, delivering mulled plum, currant and fig notes laced with black tea, supported by a nice graphite edge on the smoky finish. Drink now. 2,800 cases made.
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Spice Route

Spice Route

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Spice Route, , South Africa
Spice Route
Five centuries ago the ancient mariners braved uncharted seas to round the Cape in search of exotic spices. Their nerve and dash inspired Charles Back to found the Spice Route Winery in 1997. Charles had bought the farm Klein Amoskuil, and this Malmesbury based farm is now home to Spice Route's Swartland terroir styled wines. The Spice Route Winery has found its signature wine style in the warm rolling hills along the Cape West Coast. Matching traditional practices in the vineyards with modern, minimalist approaches in the cellar, they produce exceptionally ripe and deep-flavoured wines. The deep red soils sustain unirrigated bush vine through the long warm summers. These harsh conditions are tempered by cool Atlantic breezes rolling in overnight. In its few years since inception had a stratospheric climb into the top echelons of the South African wine industry.

Spring Mountain District

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

RGL03082791_2008 Item# 104908

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