Merlot is one of the more difficult grapes to grow successfully as the
variety often displays green flavors and tannins. To minimize this we
follow very strict canopy management practices where we sucker (water
shoot removal) twice, leaf pluck where necessary, and most importantly
bunch thin. This ensures an adequately “open” canopy, so that most
berries get sunlight exposure. This brings out the blackcurrant and red
fruit characters of Merlot and avoids green tannins.
Grapes are harvested by hand for greater quality control. The wines are
immediately destemmed but not crushed. Fermentation took place in
stainless steel tanks for a period of 7 days at a temperature of between 28
and 32° Celsius. Aerated racking was done twice daily to ensure a clean
ferment and soft tannins. The grapes were gently pressed in a bladder
press, after which malo-lactic fermentation was completed intank.
45% of the total wine was aged in a mixture of French and American oak
for a period of 6 months, whilst the remaining wine was aged in stainless
This is widely regarded as the El Nino year in South Africa. The summer
was hotter and riper than normal which required some adaptation in the
vineyards to ensure a quality grape harvest. Grapes were harvested
earlier than normal to ensure that there was freshness in the wines. The
positive aspect of the drought was a very healthy crop with good
concentration. The red wines from 2017 are rich and very structured.
Acidity: 5.4 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.9 g/l
The nose shows lovely ripe cherry characters, backed up by smoky
coffee and spice notes. The palate is soft, yet has a good structure for
medium term ageing.
Food pairing by in-house chef
Spring rack of lamb, shank or leg of lamb served pink with fresh herbs
or spring vegetables.