Merlot Durbanville Hills

wine photo

The grapes were selected from vineyards on the valley floor where vines are less prone to water-stress as the soils are generally deeper with better water retention than higher up on the hills. The constant presence of wind ensures that the canopies stay fairly small, a phenomenon that we link to better fruit and structure in the wines. We have learned that overlapping bunches tend to colour poorly and great care was taken to ensure even fruit positioning.

Nose

Driven by ripe plums, finished off with a hint of chocolate mint and sweet oriental spices.

Taste

A medium bodied Merlot accentuated by soft sweet red fruit, rounded off with silky tannins and a lingering finish.

Notes from the Winemakers

The grapes were hand harvested between 24º and 25º Balling from middle February to the middle of March and vinified separately. After 24 hours of cold soaking, the must was fermented on the skins between 26ºC and 28ºC in closed, specially designed auto fermenters until dry. During this period the maximum fruit, colour and tannin extraction from the skins was made possible through very soft, continuous timer-regulated pump-over cycles. After the wine was separated from the skins controlled malolactic took place in stainless steel tanks. The wine was matured for 12 months using predominantly French oak, utilizing a small percentage new oak together with older wood as well as wood alternatives. This is done to prevent over wooding and by doing so preserving the elegance of our cool climate fruit.

Food Pairings

Serve with tuna, salmon, baby chickens stuffed with prunes and ground pork, Mediterranean vegetable ragout on a bed of polenta and lamb with black olives and fresh thyme.