In just under ten short years of starting his own winery, Jasper Wickens has emerged as one of South Africa’s very best winemakers. I don’t take saying this lightly, but his current set of releases prove the fact.
Jasper fell in love with wine while working at Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. His experience led him to get degrees in viticulture and enology from Stellenbosch University. His main mentor in South Africa became Adi Badenhorst, where he worked for several years. His travels also took him to work at prestigious estates such as Terroir al Limit in Priorat and Matassa in the Roussillon.
In 2012 he began Swerwer, dedicated to showcasing the great vineyards of the Paardeberg in Swartland. He currently produces five small production wines.
This is the first release in the United States of his Rooi-Groen Semillon. It is by far one of the most unique and interesting white wines I have tasted in a long time. As Jasper says, “Rooi-Groen refers to a natural mutation of Semillon when vines bare grapes with a red-pink color. It is a rare sight bun not uncommon in South Africa, especially in older vineyards. Plant material with this mutation was carefully selected from a few old vines, grafted on rootstock and the first ‘Rooi-Groen’ vineyard was planted here in the Swartland.
The grapes were allowed to express themselves in their most natural way. It was spontaneously fermented with extra time on their skins to increase flavor complexity and texture. After resting for 10 months in old casks, it was bottled without any additions or fining, to present the wine in its natural form.”
The color of this wine is truly unique, with exotic aromas, notes of stone fruit, jackfruit, ginger, and herbs. The palate is textural, with just the right amount of plushness and balancing acidity. The finish is really long and extremely complex. I tasted this bottle over three days, with no deterioration or oxidation occurring. I high recommend enjoying this above refrigerator temperature, closer to cellar temperature. A must-try for any wine drinker that thinks they have had it all.
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