Chakalaka from Spice Route in the Swartland is an intriguing proposition being a multifarious red blend, typically including some less familiar varieties. Over the weekend, the 2009 alongside the current-release 2010 (R110 a bottle).
Spice Route Chakalaka 2009
37% Syrah, 21% Mourvedre, 18% Carignan, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Grenache and 4% Tannat. Very expressive on nose and palate – red cherry, sour plums, fynbos and some spice. Plenty of fruit concentration but not without balance thanks to fresh acidity and relatively fine tannins.
Spice Route Chakalaka 2010
36% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre, 13% Carignan, 10% Tanat, 8% Durif and 7% Grenache. A rather heady nose with intense dark fruit, overt spice and some earthiness. Rich and robust with plenty of tannic grip; bright acidity means all drinkability is not lost.