On the South West facing slopes of the iconic Paarl Mountain lies Landskroon Wine Estate. Facing Table Mountain on the horizon. The De Villiers family, direct descendants of Jacques de Villiers, a French Huguenot from Niort in 1689 have owned and managed Landskroon since 1874 over 5 generations. Always a Paul de Villiers as the Cellarmaster. Paul V is assisted in his cellar by Michiel du Toit and Dani Brown, so the family continues with its fine tradition. The Merlot grapes for the Landskroon Merlot 2018 are destemmed crushed and taken to a mix of open and close top fermenters. Fermentation was completed and after pressing, the wine spent a year in a mix of French and American 225 litre barrels, of which a small percentage were new. The remaining barrels were 2nd and 3rd fills. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle closed with natural cork. The livery is the new one for Landskroon, elegant, classical and very appropriate to the quality of the wine in the bottle. Merlot, I am told, is the most popular red variety on the country, especially by the glass in restaurants. The Landskroon Merlot 2018 is a deep bloodplum at the heat and which pales out to a purple tinged ruby at the rim. The aromas and palate segue into each other with whiffs of red berries and plum and a fruit filled rich and generous mid palate. There is a line of acidity, soft tannins and the spice and vanilla concomitant which run through from entry to the long aftertaste. Cool cellaring will reward you in a couple of years, though the wine is eminently drinkable now.
The Landskroon Merlot 2018 is such an approachable wine, it is great by the glass, by the fire and with some good food. And it doesn’t need to be the food which takes hours to prepare. A quick weeknight supper is the perfect companion for this wine. Lizet Hartley’s Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Cider Cream Sauce is a great partner. Click HERE for her recipe and to look at her wonderful website. Her food is so rich and lush.
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