Dave and Jane Lello own Stellekaya Wines, a family owned winery whose winery is in the Bosman’s Crossing Park at the bottom of Dorp Street in the very heart of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. The grapes for this sumptuous Merlot, the most popular red wine sold by the glass in restaurants and wine bars in the country come off 12 year old vineyards planted in Tukulu soil which face East and South West.
The hand harvested grapes are taken to the cellar for a three day cold soak ore fermentation. After fermentation, the grapes are pressed in a basket press and then racked for 24 months into a blend of differing age French Oak 225 litre Barrels. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is elegant and nods to the stars as most of the labels do. In the glass a deep opaque bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the rims. The aromas are benchmark Merlot. Red and black berry fruit, cherries, blackberries, plum and raspberry. The palate from entry is fresh with a raspberry acidity running through to the long and gently waning aftertaste. The palate shows the bright fruit again with supportive undertow of the oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla, white flowers, and a whisper of mint, so often found in a fine Merlot. A very impressive and truly drinkable now, though will reward you after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
See the recipe below. The Stellekaya Merlot 2019 is a fine food partner.
A blend of 87% Sangiovese, 6.5% Cabernet Sauvignon & 6.5% Merlot, this wine offers a different taste profile to those of us who favour the traditional reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinotage. 14 year old vines, planted north of Stellenbosch provide the grapes. In the cellar the wine is fermented in open top micro fermenters after a three day cold soak. When fermented dry, the mash was basket pressed and taken to French Oak Barrels for 21 months. Malolactic fermentation took place in the barrel. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. Like the wine above, the label is simple and elegant. In the glass, the wine is a slightly translucent plum red at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas lean heavily on the Sangiovese which offers tart red fruit, cherries, plums and red floral notes. The palate has a lovely raspberry line of acidity which runs through it to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Ruch and generous, the wine has a savoury undertow, roasted red peppers, a chirpy notes of cherry tobacco. An impressive glass. I love the ‘difference’ in this wine. Again a couple of years of cool cellaring will reward you handsomely.
Both of these wines are great food partners. In these cold Winter months, a warming casserole like Alida Ryder’s Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cheesy Mash is a wonderful match. Click HERE for her recipe.
Alida Ryder – CLICK
Read more about Stellekaya Wines – CLICK HERE