Landskroon Paul de Villiers Merlot 2014

When I asked Paul de Villiers, Cellarmaster at Landskroon Wine Estate on the South-Western slopes of the iconic Paarl Mountain, who he would like as dinner guests, he said “the previous 5 Pauls, I want to hear about how they made wine.”  Paul V is no slouch at winemaking himself, having been awarded Diners Club Winemaker of the Year for his Port style wines which his predecessors made with such success.

Paul de Villiers & his grandsons on a Landskroon tractor

Landskroon now has the 6th generation represented by Hugo de Villiers, Paul’s son, working on the Estate. Cousins Huguette and Madelief help with marketing and administration, so it’s a real family affair.

The Landskroon Paul de Villiers Merlot 2014 pays homage to the previous Pauls and is one of the flagship range from this Estate.  Assisted by Winemaker Michiel du Toit, Paul had the grapes brought into the cellar at 24 degrees Balling, where after being destalked and crushed, they were cool fermented in a combination of open top and closed stainless steel fermenters. Once fermented dry, the wine spent 16 months in French oak barrels. Half of these were new, 30% were second fill and the remainder third fill barrels. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

Merlot by Dusan Jelic

It looks like
Bottled under cork closure in the Bordeaux shaped bottle.  Elegant black livery.  In the glass a deep Satsuma plum at the core which pales out to garnet at the rim.

It smells like
Fresh red and black berry fruits, mulberries, roadside brambles plums and oak spice.

It tastes like
The tastes follow on after the nose and are repeated in an ample rich and full bodied palate. Excellent interweaving of fine tannins into the fruit. The aftertaste is long and gently waning and has an undertow of snappy dark chocolate.

Ina Paarman’s Individual Beef Wellingtons

It’s good with
This is a serious wine and perhaps as an after-dinner glass when one is sitting out on a warm windless summer evening discussing the affairs of the world?  It is the perfect wine for the full-on Sunday Roast lunch, perhaps belly of pork with crackling, baked apples, real gravy and crispy rustly roast potatoes.  It is also good with a simple well-cooked midweek supper dish when you really need a great bottle to still the pressures of the day. Ina Paarman’s Individual Beef Wellingtons are a great match to this very special wine. Click here for her recipe.

Ina Paarman, Queen of the South African Kitchen

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