The Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot 2019 took top honours at the SA Terroir Awards by being awarded as the Best Merlot.
The SA Terroir Awards, now in its 17th year, portrays and rewards the unique origins of the wines made across the diverse terroir landscape of the Cape Winelands.
Tammy Claasen, Fleur du Cap winemaker, says the wine is Origin Cape Town with grapes for this particular wine sourced from Philadelphia, an area ideally suited for the style of Merlot they were envisioning.
“Merlot as a grape varietal produces wildly different wines, depending on where they are grown. The terroir of Philadelphia is synonymous with the cooling mists that roll in each afternoon from the Atlantic Ocean, and cool sea breezes that provide excellent aeration, allowing the grapes to ripen leisurely lowering natural sugars and intensifying the acidity. The result is an elegant wine that is nuanced and fresh. It’s incredibly humbling that the judges of this year’s awards noted the distinctive characteristics of soil and climate in the wine, the pinnacle of every winemaker’s career.”
The grapes were hand-picked from a single vineyard grown in deep red Hutton soils, featuring decomposed granite and high clay content. In the cellar, after fermentation, the wine was drained off with the hard pressings excluded and transferred to predominately 300-liter French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and left to mature for 18 months. Post a meticulous barrel selection, only about a third of the original volume was selected to be bottled, without filtration.
Deep ruby red with a bright hue, multiple layers of dark fruit such as plum and blackcurrant with hints of oak spice unravel on the nose. The palate is plush, rich, and velvety with well-balanced fruit and supple ripe tannins that will allow for excellent aging potential.
The Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot 2019 retails for R200 and can be ordered online.