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Swerwer Touriga Nacional, Swartland '19
If you are a regular Perman Wine customer, then you’ve heard me extoll the virtues of Swerwer, a small winery based in the Western Cape of South Africa.
Owner and winemaker Jasper Wickens has deservedly earned many accolades in the 10 years since his winery opened.
As I’ve mentioned before, 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, whose winery he worked at 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.
In the previous months, we have shared his Semillon and Shiraz with you, and now it is time to feature his outstanding Touriga Nacional. For those of you unfamiliar with the grape, it is one of the main red varieties of Portugal, often found in regions such as the Douro and Bairrada. In fact, it is one of the principal varieties used in Port production. As you can imagine, it typically has plenty of fruit, body, tannin, and alcohol, with moderate acidity. Some versions produced as dry red wines in the Douro can be as full bodied as any red wine you could imagine.
Jasper produces this wine from a northwest-facing vineyard, planted in 2007 in the Paardeberg Mountain area. While this area is intensely dry and warm, the vineyard itself benefits from cool mornings, and the sandy granitic soils help bring freshness. While this wine is truly varietally correct, is is definitely a more dialed-back version.
Gorgeous aromas that show off that granitic soil, with notes of mineral, blueberry, and violet. The fruit on the palate is really silky, with great freshness and soft tannins on the finish. This is a fantastic food wine, pairing easily with seared duck breast or lamb chops. If you can give this a half hour in a decanter before drinking, you’ll see that it really opens up. You can also drink this over the course of a couple days, as it holds up in bottle as well.
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