Overgaauw Merlot 2016
South Africa's first bottled single varietal Merlot. Upon discovering the Merlot vines he planted in 1973 were infected with leafroll virus, Braam van Velden set out to find healthy virus-free vines. After an extensive search, new Italian clone Merlot vines were obtained and planted in 1979.
"Our first vintage from this block was in 1982. The wine was so impressive that we deemed it worthy to be bottled on its own. This also prompted us to extend the wine's time in the small oak barrels to nine months, which was a long time in those days."
When the Merlot was bottled in 1983, it was the first single varietal South African Merlot on the market. There were many raised eyebrows, "I remember being asked why we were bottling a blending wine on its own".
It’s a well-structured, medium-bodied wine with a rich combination of sumptuous black cherry fruit, hints of cocoa powder and elegant spicy oak notes.