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Swartland, Bush Vine, Shiraz

Swartland, Bush Vine, Shiraz

bush vines in a black land

Swartland (the “black land”) has leapt from obscurity to become South Africa’s hippest wine region in just a decade, as a new wave of maverick winemakers discover its treasure trove of old bush vines.
Rhône varieties are particularly successful here, as demonstrated by this Shiraz, whose smoky, peppery complexity is so reminiscent of a classic northern Rhône that it ought to have been labelled a Syrah.
Serve this full-bodied, oak-aged red at cool room temperature: 17°C to 18°C.  Pair it with wild mushroom risotto or richly-flavoured meat dishes – even chilli.

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Available at £12.42 per bottle


Full-bodied and well-oaked, this is exactly the kind of red for which the traditional recommendation of “room temperature” was devised.  Just remember that this meant pre-central-heating room temperature – 17°C or 18°C.
Age may have rounded some of the edges on this, but it’s still pretty full-on.  This is not some gentle party red for quaffing on its own like the Beaujolais we had before Christmas; this needs food, and savoury, meaty (or at least protein-rich) food at that.
South Africans would throw some chunks of marinated meat (the winemaker himself recommends “chocolate chilly steak”) onto the braai, but it really isn’t barbecue weather in Blighty right now.  Richly-flavoured winter stews and casseroles will fit the bill until summer returns.
The spiciness of the wine will match similarly spicy dishes. This would really suit a chilli, but be aware that the fairly high alcohol will increase the burn!  Vegetarians need not be left out: the other great pairing for this wine would be a wild mushroom risotto.

about this wine

CountrySouth Africa
AppellationSwartland WO
Syrah / Shiraz
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Swartland Winery
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