2016 Warp + Weft “Shweshwe” Red Blend, Swartland, South Africa
92 Points, Tasting Panel
This wine comes out of a long tradition of winemaking in South Africa that can be traced back to the first plantings in 1659, but reflects a quality of South African wine that is rarely seen in North America. Sourced from 30 year-old, dry-farmed, bush vines, this wine was produced in conjunction with the Basson family, who have been farming this estate in the Swartland for four generations.
The wine opens with complex but inviting aromas of graphite, black pepper and mulberry. The palate is rich and dynamic with flavors of Damson plum, kola nut, sassafras, tayberry, and Bing cherry. Silken but lengthy tannins carry the wine from start to finish, with notes of tobacco, oak and spiced vanilla.
Located deep in the Swartland at the foot of the Pardeberg Mountains, the Basson Family Vineyard was first planted by Stephan Basson’s great grandfather in 1919. This vineyard represents a long tradition of winemaking in South Africa that can be traced back to the first plantings in 1659, boasting 30-year-old, dry-farmed, bush vines. The Shweshwe Red blend reflects a quality of South African wine that is rarely seen in North America. This wine was produced in conjuntion with the Basson family, who have been farming their estate in the Swarland for four generations.
Winemaker Hal Landvoigt has traveled wine regions around the world, sourcing the finest grapes and cultivating a unique and unpretentious winemaking style. He was drawn to the Swartland because of the opportunities in viticulture that do not exist almost anywhere else in the world. As he tasted wines with the Basson family, sitting in the 100-year-old earth-bricked cellar that was built by Stephan’s great grandfather, he recognized that he was tasting history.
6x 2016 Warp + Weft “Shweshwe” Red Blend, Swartland, South Africa
12x 2016 Warp + Weft “Shweshwe” Red Blend, Swartland, South Africa
Not for sale online, $384/case MSRP
About The Winery
Winery: Warp + Weft
Warp + Weft are the crossed threads that comprise a piece of fabric. This project is the result of the intersection of many different people and the idea that these interwoven “threads of life” can create something greater than the sum of the parts. Shweshwe is a traditional fabric produced in South Africa, considered the denim of the Western Cape. It’s durable, worn by everyone, and rooted in tradition.
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Note that one entry in the first-post description has a typo “Swarland” – it IS Swartland.
Incidentally, Swartland was named for a type of plant that makes the hills appear black when viewed from a distance. For a moment I was concerned the name had something to do with South Africa’s troubling Apartheid history. (joking… or maybe not?) Luckily it was just about a plant…
The bottle opens with notes of blackberry and spice on the nose. The initial taste reveals this is not a PnP.
It’s very young in the bottle and needed about three hours to really reveal.
After giving this red blend a chance to get acquainted with the party, it opens up to you.
Pour a glass and admire the dark purple liquid with its long legs
Black currant, plum, rainier cherry deliver along with a silky mouthfeel leaving a finish of ripe raisin with a long tannic finish.
It accompanied and held up to a well seasoned pot roast and roasted vegetables and did not disappoint.