A friend who is in the know, tells me that Merlot is the most popular red wine in the country. Ordered by the glass in restaurants. In my restaurant in Cape Town, an American Lady once asked for a glass of murr low [a two long syllable word for her, emphasis on the murr], her favourite red. There is a South African Merlot Interest Group called HalloMerlot which is an interesting follow. The grapes for the Oldenburg Vineyards Merlot 2016 are hand harvested and the berries hand sorted. After destalking and crushing there was a period of three days cold soaking of the skins in the juice. Fermentation began and there were three daily pump overs of the fermenting wine under the cap of skins. Once pressed, the wine was matured for 18 months in 300 litre French oak barrels of which 25% were new. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The foil around the cork is black. The label, beige in colour, is simple and elegant and depicts the 8 natural phenomenon which occur in the Oldenburg Vineyards. In the glass, the wine is a rich terracotta which pales out to ruby at the rim. The aromas are of ripe plums, Jamon Iberico and green herbaceousness. The palate is rich and generous – hints of a bredie with its essenced tomato, Mediterranean herbs, bay leaf, and red fruits. The tannins are gentle, the acidity juice making, the aftertaste just goes on for ever and ever. While eminently drinkable now, some cool cellaring for a couple of years will reward you amply.
The Oldenburg Vineyards Merlot 2016 is a great glass on its own, before or after a meal. And with it, a lovely dish of Tomato Bredie wold be perfect. HERE is my recipe, ingredients illustrated here by the very talented South African artist, Roelien Immelman who lives with her potter husband in Taiwan.
South African Artist Roelien Immelman, at work in her Taiwan Studio – CLICK HERE
Listen to my 60 second podcast, click the red arrow.
Read more about Oldenburg Vineyards – CLICK HERE