Wine: Boschendal 1685 Merlot 2015
Wine of Origin: Western Cape (Stellenbosch and Elgin)
Winemaker: Richard Duckitt
Background: Winemag.co.za continues to expand its annual variety Reports and so the first annual Merlot Report in association with the official producer, the Merlot Forum, was announced mid-June.
Merlot is a popular variety amongst red wine consumers and is sometimes referred to as the friendly noble red grape due to its lower acid, softer texture, sweeter flavour and generally being a more accessible wine than other heavier red varieties. The variety hails from the Bordeaux region in France where it is mostly used as an important blending partner along with Cabernet Sauvignon but some of the world’s most expensive wines from Pomerol, Chateau Le Pin and Chateau Petrus for example, are 100% Merlot.
Overgaauw estate outside Stellenbosch were the first local winery to bottle Merlot as a single variety in 1982 and have continued to do so each year. Their 2015 Merlot was one of the high scoring Merlots in the Merlot Report.
Winemag.co.za received 67 entries from 50 producers for the Merlot Report, which were evaluated by Christian Eedes, James Pietersen and Roland Peens using the 100 point scoring system. The highest score of 92 points went to two wines one of which was the Boschendal 1685 Merlot 2015. Richard Duckitt, Boschendals red winemaker, sources his grapes for this wine from selected Stellenbosch and Elgin vineyards. He fermented the grapes separately in stainless steel tanks after which he blended the two wines prior to transferring the completed wine into 300litre French oak barrels for 20 months maturation prior to bottling.
Result: Subtle aromas of ripe berries and cherries are underlined by elegant oak spices. A velvety yet mouth-filling wine with gentle tannins.
When to drink: Now till 2022
Drink with what: Grain fed fillet of beef with mushroom ragout and red wine jus
Expect to pay: R127.00