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    Swerwer Shiraz, Swartland '18


    Swerwer Shiraz, Swartland '18

    Jasper Wicken’s influences come from so many different wine regions all over the world, but his wine is definitive of what South African wine can be. His first opportunity to explore the wine world abroad after graduating with Bachelor's Degree in Viticulture and Oenology from from Stellenbosch University was in Napa , which at the time felt like the “pinnacle of winemaking”. This line of thinking would eventually evolve during his time at AA Badenhorst Family Wines… “Adi Badenhorst brought me down to earth, really fast and hard. Coming to the Swartland changed everything I thought I knew about the wine world. Immediately I was working in the most primitive of ways, paying with blood and sweat, to learn that good wine doesn't come without getting your hands dirty. Tasting and developing a feel for the vineyards, the grapes and what they would become was much more important.” During his career at Badenorst, he was afforded the time to travel to the northern hemisphere during the off season and further expand stylistically. He was particularly drawn to the ancient, steep sloped slate vineyards of Priorat, Spain and also worked with the individualistic Tom Lubbe at Matassa in Roussillon, France.  Eventually, Swerwer was born. Making wine in Swartland under the his own label really helped Jasper zero in on his own identity, and the wines are just that- distinct.  His 2018 Shiraz is so earthy and sanguine, one could almost mistake it for Southern Rhone. Jasper’s wine is so curious and dynamic, the industry should take note of what fruit from South Africa can be. There are notes of oil cured olives, ripe plum skin, and violets. Let it open up and pour it next to a hearty plate of braised lamb over polenta or have a glass with a late night snack of biltong and remember- its warm right now where this one came from.


    South Africa


    Producer Swerwer


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    Near North

    Mon–Fri Noon–8 / Sat 11–7
    Closed on Sunday

    1167 N Howe Street
    Chicago, IL 60610

    Sounds good!