A superb South African Merlot

I’m not the world’s greatest Merlot fan, and so I was pleasantly surprised by this superb South African Merlot, from Hartenberg, a winery I visited on my first trip to South Africa in 2003. They’re the winery that used to make a varietal Pontac, which I think they’ve since discontinued.

Hartenberg Merlot 2007 Stellenbosch
14.5% alcohol. This Veritas Gold medal winner is really fantastic. Lovely aromatic purity with fresh berry and blackcurrant fruit. Nice complex aromas of chalk, minerals, spice and pure fruit. The palate shows pure bright berry fruits with just a hint of green varietal character. Fresh and nicely balanced. 92/100 (RRP £17.50)

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

5 comments to A superb South African Merlot

  • keith Prothero

    I like the Merlot made by a Swiss couple the Beins.It is the only wine they make from quite a small vineyard near Asara and Neethlinghoff.
    When you next visit the Cape,you should pay them a visit Jamie.

  • Mmmm great South African Merlot. Fruitful wine with choc mint whiffs and good follow through. I could have a glass of that any day :)

    Regards
    Jen@cybercellar

  • James Browne

    Jamie. I can confirm the demise of our Pontac. Sadly the leafroll virus that we fought valiantly eventually prevailed. Our last vintage was the 2000 which was entirely bottled in magnum. We still have a few magnums of this liquid history left at the cellar door. Regards, James

  • The Hartenberg Merlot 2007 is a beautifully made wine Jamie. It has a wonderful ripe fruit purity and has oodles of cassis and red berry fruit components. As Jen from Cybercellar says ‘great South African Merlot’, a varietal they have not performed well with traditionally.
    Tim Pearson
    Seven Springs Vineyard
    http://7springs.co.za

  • As people have mentioned this is really is a fantastic merlot, great depth and complexity of flavour. I loved it.

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