Swerwer Rooi-Groen Semillon 2021


Experimentation is an ongoing exercise to help understand how to emphasise the characteristics of the variety in the best natural way. Since colour and flavour is situated in the skins, fermentations are done with different durations of skin contact. This could vary from a couple of days pre- or during ferment, to 20 days post ferment. The results are analysed, tasted and blended with cultivar expression in mind. No fining or filtration with a low sulphur content.

“The wine has pale gold and copper tones. The nose invites with aromas of wild blossoms, stone fruit, green tea and a mineral flintiness. Flavours of ripe peach, nectarine, sour kei-apple and hottentots fig with a touch of ginger and coriander spice adds to the layered and textured palate, but finishes slightly savoury with a light tannin structure and soft acidity. This is a unique and special wine due to the obscurity of the grape and drinks perfectly well early but will reward with aging.” – Jasper Wickens

ANALYSIS: ALC 12.7% | RS 1.9 g/l | TA 4.9 g/l

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Based in upper Siebritskloof in the Swartland region, Jasper started his private label in 2012 and focuses on a Chenin Blanc and a Syrah based blend predominantly. Wines with minimal intervention, showcasing exceptional elegance and structure in each and every sip.

Semillon was historically one of the most important varieties and was widely planted in South Africa. Over time a natural mutation started developing in old vineyards resulting in vines with red/pink pigmented grapes. This is referred to by farmers as Rooi-Groendruif or simply ‘Rooi-Groen’. This once-common sight is now almost forgotten as many old vineyards were uprooted in the past century.

From an old 1963 vineyard, plant material was selected of a few vines yearly showing this mutation. Over a 10 year period, this material was propagated and re-selected to be rooted as the first Semillon ‘gris’ vineyards in South Africa and according to research, the world, as it is rarely found anywhere else. Planted on deep loam on the valley floor, this vineyard has access to moisture in the driest of years.