Fleur du Cap Merlot
Stellenbosch, South Africa
The continued success of the Fleur du Cap range of wines is the result of a team approach at The Bergkelder that starts with meticulous vineyard selection and is driven by an overriding passion for winemaking and constant experimentation to create a new generation of superior quality wines. The wines are shaped in perfect harmony with the forces of nature to capture the highly sought-after qualities of varietal character and terroir. Climate, soil, altitude and slope orientations are selected to capture as much varietal character as possible. The climate is mild with south and east facing slopes offering natural protection against late-afternoon sun. Cooling breezes from the Atlantic Ocean ensure rich, slow growing crops. The soil is predominantly medium textured and well drained with good water holding capacity.
The grapes were sourced from vineyards surrounding Stellenbosch. The vineyards were planted in 1992, 1999 and 2000, at altitudes ranging from 150 to 250m above sea level. The yields ranged between 8 and 10 tons/ha. Supplementary irrigation was given towards the end of the growing season. The vines are trellised according to the 5-wire hedge system, with leaf breaking done in the bunch zones early in the season to expose bunches to direct sunlight. During veraison, a green harvest was done to ensure even ripening. Pest and disease control was implemented according to South African subjective IPW standards. The grapes were picked by hand at 23º to 24° Balling in mid-February. In the cellar the grapes were carefully destemmed, crushed and inoculated with a selected yeast. The fermented temperature was carefully controlled at 77°F (25°C) to preserve fruit flavors. Color and tannin extraction was performed by pump-overs. The level of extraction was evaluated daily so that no harsh tannins were incorporated into the wine. After fermentation the wine was drained off and the skins pressed with the hard pressings excluded. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. The wine was matured for 12 months with a combination of new French and American oak and second- and third-fill barrels.
This full-bodied, ruby colored red has aromas of cherries, plums and prunes, underlined by elegant oak spices. On the palate this well-balanced wine is velvety soft yet mouth filling with clean soft fruit and a touch of underlying oak. These complex flavors linger on the finish.
This wine pairs well with spicy Mediterranean food, full-flavored fish, duck or guinea fowl.
Varietals: 100% Merlot
Wine Alcohol: 14.4%
Titratable Acidity: 5.71
Residual Sugar: 1.73
Suggested Retail Price: $13.00