The Vinologist’s journey to discover single-origin Merlot begins with Franschhoek. Merlot buds and ripens early, which exposes the fruit to the dry heat of February and March. Franschhoek’s climate is characterized by significant fluctuations of day and night-time temperatures. The steep mountains surrounding the valley means relatively short periods of direct sunlight exposure. These conditions allow the Vinologist to harvest grapes which have had the benefit of longer hang-time on the vineyards, resulting in a distinctive Merlot with concentrated red fruits, gentle leafy aromas and soft tannins. Minimal cellar intervention allows for pure varietal and fruit expressions. The Franschhoek origin Merlot is a clear example of how a “Wine with Origin” comes alive in the bottle.
An abundance of black fruit, dark cherries and ripe plums with whiffs of rhubarb, tobacco, mint and oregano make for a very complex nose. The entry is smooth with a compote of black currant, blueberry and prunes following through onto a focused mid-palate with delicate cedar and graphite notes from French oak. The wine is balanced with integrated acidity and a svelte tannin structure. Hints of dark chocolate, mocha and bay leaf linger on a fine finish.