There seems to be a day for everything. Why not one for Merlot? Today is supposedly International Merlot Day and a good excuse to contemplate this dark coloured grape varietal and drink a couple of glasses of Merlot.
Merlot is to Cabernet Sauvignon what Lady Di was to Prince Charles. An addition of softness, a palatability to stuffy royalty.
Cape South Coast wineries mostly partner Merlot in the production of Bordeaux blends. However, there are some great examples of single varietal Merlot bottling. Here are some of my favourites:
- Shannon Mount Bullet 2014 – Platter 5 star made by Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson from grapes cultivated by James Downes on the family farm.
- Elgin Vintners Merlot 2015 – A reminder that Christmas cake will be in abundance soon.
Bot River has Gabrielskloof, Beaumont and Wildekrans using Merlot to blend a Bordeaux style wine.
- Creation Merlot 2016 – a Platter 4 star wine with mocha, berry and vanilla mouthfuls.
- Spookfontein Merlot 2015 has cherry notes in true Merlot style
- Sumaridge Merlot 2015 – another Platter 4 star with cocoa and crushed herbs on the palate.
- Benguela Cove 2014 pours a vibrant taste of cherry aromas.
- Whalehaven Merlot 2012 offers a full palate taste and a firm finish.
- Raka Barrel Select Merlot 2015 – Josef Dreyer made this spicy red.
Thanks to @Teddy_the_dog (twitter) for the cover pic.