Meerlust Stellenbosch Red 2019

Meerlust Stellenbosch Red 2019

Meerlust Stellenbosch Red 2019

Regular price $18.00
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Standing atop the rugged dome of Helderberg, one is treated to a sweeping view out over the green valley of Stellenbosch and the wide sweep of False Bay curving towards Cape Town and Table mountain in the distance. Most of that green land is one sort of vineyard or another, and one of the oldest and most important of those vineyards is Meerlust, or Love of the Sea, an estate founded in 1756 near the coast, where the moderating effect of the Southern Ocean is strongest. The estate, like the majority of the district, is dedicated primarily to Bordeaux varieties led by Cabernet Sauvignon. South African wine is generally lumped into the ‘new world’ category, but the vineyards here are very old, and in Meerlust’s wines there is a decidedly ‘old world’ sensibility at work. Blended from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this red shows aromas of earth and blackcurrant, tomato leaf and black cherry, and South African wine’s characteristic whiff of pipe tobacco and savory herbs, a profile much closer to Bordeaux than to Napa. The palate is perfectly medium in weight, with taut tannic backbone and buoyant acidity, featuring flavors of black cherry fruit, warm, friable soil, leather and baker’s chocolate, plentiful dried herbs, a touch of balsamic, and a single vanilla bean that lingers through the supple finish. There may not be a better wine for a classically grilled steak, but dishes prominently featuring mushrooms will also do nicely. This is Meerlust’s entry-tier wine, but we suspect it will behave itself in the cellar for at least another five to eight years.
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