La Bri Merlot 2015, good with Anina Meyer’s Creamy Chicken, Leeks & Mushrooms

The La Bri Merlot 2015

Irene de Fleuriot [formerly Waller], the recently married GM and Winemaker of La Bri, produces a stable of superb wines under the La Bri Label. La Bri Wine Estate is in what is known as the ‘bo hoek’, the top corner of the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, right over on the south western end of the Valley.  The La Bri Merlot 2015 grapes were picked in the first week of March in 2015. At the time of pruning, the vines were pruned in such a way that the yield per hectare was an even handed 6 tons.

Irene marrying Marc de Fleuriot

After destalking and crushing the alcoholic fermentation took place and this was followed by malolactic fermentation in the barrel. Maturation for the La Bri Merlot was a period of 20 months in mainly 300 litre French oak barrels of which 24% were first fill. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

It looks like
Bottled under natural cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle. The labels for the La Bri wine have a specific flower on them relation to the character of the wine contained therein. The La Bri Merlot has the March Lily [Amaryllis Belladonna] on the label. An indigenous lily which blooms in March, it has a pink trumpet like flower. In the glass, the wine is a rich plum colour at the core which pales out to garnet at the edges.

Merlot Grapes just before harvesting

It smells like
Rich dark berries and cherries, sweet brown spices and supporting oak.

It tastes like
From entry, sappy and bright fruited. Powdered Porcini [Boletus Edulis] undertow. Full elegant palate with the cashmere clad tannins beautifully interwoven with the fruit and oak. Dry and so satisfying.

Anina Meyer’s Creamy Chicken, Leeks & Mushrooms

It’s good with
Very moreish – the La Bri Merlot is a truly lovely glass on its own. Acts as an aperitif leading in to a meaty meal, or a full flavoured vegetarian main course. Anina Meyer’s Creamy Chicken, Leeks & Mushrooms is a good partner to the La Bri Merlot. Serve the wine chilled for about 30 minutes. Click here for her recipe.

Anina Meyer – food guru

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