Groote Post, the historic family estate in the Darling Hills, is the proud recipient of the Best Merlot Trophy at the 2016 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, South Africa’s premier wine competition.
Nick Pentz, co-owner of Groote Post, is particularly excited with this prestigious award for Groote Post’s 2014 Merlot. “I’m extremely proud of our dedicated team in the cellar and vineyards – guided by our winemaker, Lukas Wentzel, and our viticulturist Jannie de Clerk – for this achievement. I feel that this is a significant honour as merlot has always been considered a challenging wine to make in the Cape.” These sentiments were endorsed by Michael Fridjhon, Chairman of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, who commented, “It was particularly gratifying to have a trophy award for merlot – a category that has been battling for some time.” In fact this year is the first time merlot has returned to the select trophy club since the 2012 competition.
GROOTE POST MERLOT 2014
In the vineyard: The merlot vineyards from which the grapes were harvested are between 14 and 15 years old. Supplementary irrigation helps de-stress the vines in the heat and dryness of late summer. The grapes for the 2014 vintage were harvested fairly ripe at 24° – 26°B with an average yield of 7 tons per hectare. One of the main challenges in making quality merlot is to eliminate the green flavours, which arise from uneven ripening. To minimise this, canopy management; thinning the crop to one bunch per shoot; careful bunch selection; and berry sorting are critical in guiding the wine, ultimately, into bottle.
In the cellar: The grapes had cold maceration for 2 days in stainless steel tanks and open tanks. The juice was pumped over and the cap punched down three to four times a day. The juice was left on the skins for 14 days after fermentation. Malolactic fermentation and ageing took place in 300-litre French Oak barrels – 30% new wood, 40% 2nd fill and 30% 3rd fill.
Tasting notes: Gorgeous berry and plum aromas, with a subtle hint of mint, follow on to a lush palate with juicy blackberries and cedar notes. The wine is round and full, silky and elegant, with a long finish.
Retail price: The Groote Post Merlot 2014 is widely available nationally at leading retailers and restaurants and retails for approximately R128.