jamie goode's wine blog: Two from Meerlust

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two from Meerlust

Switching the focus of this blog away from Chile to South Africa - perhaps its closest competitor in the UK marketplace - I'm drinking two rather good wines tonight from the same producer. They share a family resemblance.

Meerlust Merlot 2004 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is quite an elegant red, even though it has a bit of a traditional feel to it. The nose is distinctly spicy, with the sort of greenness that manifests as a rich, minerally, gravelly quality, and meshes well with the warm, ripe red fruits. The palate has some tannic structure and a bit of a drying finish, but there's enough flesh here to make the whole experience a pleasant, rather seamless one. I hope this all doesn't sound a bit off-putting, because this is actually a really well balanced, concentrated, complex red wine, albeit in quite a traditional style where fruit isn't the dominant feature. Because it's seen quite a bit of oxygen during its elevage, it should age well for a decade or more. 90/100 (17.99, imported by MMD Ltd)

Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Lovely aromatic nose is old fashioned South African in style, but not rustic. It has smooth cedary, gravelly, spicy notes combining with warm red/black fruits. It's not too fruity, and there's a bit of smoke and tar. The palate is warm and spicy with some earthy notes. Well balanced, this works really well. Not a fruit-driven wine, but there is some blackcurranty richness. Structure for development here: this could happily be cellared for a decade. 91/100 (18.99, imported by MMD Ltd)

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At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Interesting your comment about Chile being South Africa,s main competitor in the UK market.
How do you compare the two countries wines Jamie?Probably a tricky question,but I wonder which country do you think has the most potential to make great wine?
I thought Chile generally had a cooler climate than South Africa,and hence would tend to produce perhaps better merlot/pinot whereas South Africa is very strong in syrah.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Salil said...

I'll keep an eye out for both of those. I recently had a bottle of the 2001 Meerlust Rubicon and was really impressed by its elegance and class (and the value for money - got it for the equivalent of about 13 in Chicago).


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