Lanzerac Merlot 2013 Tasting Notes
The Vintage: 2014 saw a wet harvest season with lots of late rains, and it was probably the biggest harvest of the decade. Despite the high yields the wines are consistent in complexity.
Appellation: Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch.
Viticulture: The Lanzerac Merlot 2014 was sourced from four different vineyard blocks, D6A, D6B (both 20 years old in 2014) and D11 (16 years old in 2014) from Lanzerac and J7 (8 years old in 2014) from Jonkersdrift, all situated in the Jonkershoek Valley. All the blocks combined covers an area of 8.22 hectares and the yield in 2014 was 8.6 tons per hectare. The 4 blocks have an altitude of 125 – 400 meters above sea level with mainly deep red decomposed granite soils.
Harvest Date: Late February.
Vinification: Upon arrival at the cellar the grape bunches are hand sorted then destemmed. The loose berries undergo a further hand sorting before it is lightly crushed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. Regular pump-overs (twice a day) are done to extract colour and flavour. The Merlot was fermented dry on the skins before pressing. The free run wine was kept apart from the press fraction. A part of the Merlot wine underwent MLF in barrels, while the rest completed MLF in tank. A selection of new, 2nd fill and 3rd fill French oak barrels were used to mature the Merlot for 12 months. Regular racking resulted in excellent integration between wood, fruit and tannins.
Cellar Master's Comments: This appetizing wine has everything a Merlot-lover could want, and more. Concentrated black-berried fruit is edged with sweet vanilla hints and spicy aromas on the nose. Savoury tannins add layers of complexity, gently supporting the flavours of plums, black cherries, cooked strawberries and dark chocolate before a long, integrated finish rounds the wine off in fine style.
Cellaring Potential: Drink now are mature for 3-5 years.
Food Suggestions: A truly appetizing and exciting drink, its darkly-concentrated core will match savoury terrines and smoked meats as well as a melt-in-the-mouth carpaccio with a fruity balsamic dressing.