Swartland Winery,' Founders', Western Cape, Merlot 2018

Swartland Winery,' Founders', Western Cape, Merlot 2018

9.00

Aromas of forest floor, black cherries, plums and raspberries are enhanced by a hint of smoky vanilla.

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Vintage - 2018

Country - South Africa

Region - Western Cape

Grape Varieties - Merlot 100%

Alcohol by volume - 13%

Bottle - 75cl

Big open skies, arid deserts, the vast flowing landscape, with its unforgiving climate and rugged bush vines, this is wild country, this is Swartland. The contrast with manicured Constantia and oh-so-cool Stellenbosch couldn't be greater. But right now, Swartland is the most exciting wine region in South Africa. A new wave of winemakers are making ground-breaking wines from Rhône varietals and it is part of a revolution that has got everybody talking. The Swartland Winery is producing iconic and award winning wines in this fashionable and dynamic region, so we have joined forces with them to create a unique, distinctive and expressive wine range that has been masterfully blended for the UK palate. We think something this good, is definitely worth talking about!

The 2018 vintage was characterised by extreme drought but very little disease on the grapes, thus ensuring very healthy grapes and low yields. This all contributed to complex and concentrated flavour profiles.

The Swartland name originates from a description of the indigenous "renosterbos" or rhino bush, which appears to turn black, ("Swart" in Afrikaans), during the summer months. This hot, dry climate has an average temperature range of 25°C to 35°C and an annual rainfall of 450 mm and 600mm, but the altitude of these vineyards creates a cool oasis in this arid landscape. Minimal intervention and environmentally friendly farming practices are paramount. 80% of the vineyards are small bush vines with an average yield of six tonnes per hectare; the quality of fruit is exceptional.

The grapes were harvested at optimum phenolic ripeness, cold soaked for three days after and then inoculated with a commercial yeast strain. Fermentation took place at 26°C with four to six pump overs per day to optimise flavour and colour extraction. After the fermentation, the wines were filtered and bottled to ensure freshness.

A wonderfully complex and forthcoming nose delivers aromas of forest floor, crushed leaves, deep ripe black cherries, plums and raspberries, enhanced by a hint of vanilla. The dark fruit flavours are echoed on the palate and are enveloped in earthy and spicy notes. Balanced, with integrated oak and a moreish, soft finish. The perfect companion to roasted duck or a rich pasta dish.