South African winemaker Charles Back is perhaps best known for Fairview Estate as well as his tongue in cheek but brilliantly conceived range of wines, Goats do Roam.
But in the late 1990s he was amongst the first to realise the potential for wine on the Cape’s west coast. He bought a farm and, with some old blocks of chenin blanc and pinotage already there, he planted a mixture of warm climate Rhone Valley and Southern French varietals as well as a little sauvignon blanc.
Spice Route Chakalaka 2009, Swartland (Hermitage Cellars £9.10), is a fascinating Rhone-style red, which takes its name from a spicy South African relish and certainly lives up to its name.
Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2010, Western Cape
Made from old vines, a lively palate with some spice and good weight of flavour.
Hermitage Cellars £8