The Durbanville Wine appellation is one of the coolest in the winelands. The Durbanville Hills Winery stands on a promontory which overlooks Table Mountain and the city, Table Bay and Robben Island. Here, breezes from the Benguela Current which runs up our West Coast from the deep cold South Atlantic drift inland, late afternoon mists envelope the Valley where the 9 leading vineyard owners who are the providers of quality grapes for Durbanville Hills Winery. Founding Cellarmaster Martin Moore and his team, with Wilhelm Coetzee as Red Wine Specialist, have at their disposal highly advanced cellar technology to produce the finest wines reflecting the Appellation.
The grapes for the Durbanville Hills Merlot 2017 come from vineyards planted in deep dark red soils and which are over 30 years old. They were harvested at the outer edge of ripeness just before the grapes started to shrivel. Once in the cellar, destalked and crushed, the grapes were cold soaked for 24 hours. Fermentation took place until the wine was dry, with special continuous timer regulated pump over cycles. Malolactic fermentation took place before the wine was taken for 12 months to Barrels predominantly from 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. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is the classical Durbanville Hills ‘lozenge’ shape. In the glass, the wine is deep blood plum which pales out to ruby at the rim. The aromas are of dark berries and bloodplums. These follow on to the palate which is rich, fruit cake spicy and berries with roadside brambles and mulberries. Oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla in undertow. The tannins are silken and well-integrated into the long and slowly waning aftertaste.
The Durbanville Hills Merlot 2017 is an all-time wine. Great as a glass on its own, and just fabulous with a well-prepared meal. With Autumn gently bidding us farewell and Winter almost upon us, a dish of mild curry would be the answer. Or perhaps My Lamb Knuckle & Red Bean Casserole? Great partner to this wine. Click HERE for my recipe.
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