Spend the official first day of winter on 21 June, with a luxurious red wine to beat the chill and the early setting-sun. Winter solstice, when the sun is at its northernmost position in the sky, is the shortest day of the year and Durbanville Hills Reserve 2012 Rhinofields Merlot is a great way to turn a cold evening into something special.
The wine is made from grapes sourced from vineyards of opposing slopes: one from a sunny, north-facing hill chosen for the prominent varietal aromas delivered by its grapes, the other, south-facing and cooler, selected for the structure it imparts. The wine was fermented on the skins, where it remained for a further week to extract maximum colour, fruit and tannins before maturation for 14 months in small French oak barrels.
Medium to full-bodied, it offers ripe cherry and other dark fruit aromas and tastes with hints of aniseed, mint and sweet tobacco. Serve it with ragout of lamb, black olives and fresh thyme; roast chicken stuffed with prunes; seared tuna; cottage pie or roast turkey. On its own it will make the perfect accompaniment to a stormy or wind-chilled night.
The Durbanville Hills Reserve 2012 Rhinofields Merlot retails for R125 from the cellar or can be bought via www.vinoteque.co.za
Information from DKC