Du Toitskloof Merlot 2007

Ripe mulberry and mint, flavours mingle pleasantly with light smokiness from the oak. The palate is characterised by firm, ripe tannins and there is a hint of chocolate on the aftertaste.

Serve with Italian dishes, roast beef and steak.

variety : Merlot | 100% Merlot
winemaker : Philip Jordaan & Shawn Thompson
wine of origin : Western Cape
analysis : alc : 13.88 % vol  rs : 3.5 g/l  pH : 3.47  ta : 5.6 g/l  so2 : 99 mg/l  fso2 : 34 mg/l  
type : Red  style : Very Dry   wooded
pack : Bottle  closure : Cork  

AWARDS
WINE Magazine August 2009 - 2 stars
in the vineyard : Background
Du Toitskloof Wine Cellar (DTK) was established by six wine farmers as a cooperative winery in 1962. Today it has 22 members whose vineyards all lie within a 10 km radius of the cellar. It is located near the town of Rawsonville in the Breede River Valley, at the entrance to the Du Toitskloof Mountain Pass. The stony soils of the area are ideally suited to grape growing. DTK's award-winning wines are known for their excellent quality at affordable prices, and during the last five years it has been rated the South African cellar offering the best value by WINE magazine, three times. The cellar produces some 10 million litres of wine a year from 13 500 tons of grapes, of which 60% is white and 40%, red. Its major white cultivar is Sauvignon blanc, followed by Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Semillon. The main red cultivars are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinotage.

In the vineyards
All the grapes for this blend came from within 5 km of the Du Toitskloof cellar. The vines, grafted on to Richter 99, 110 and 114 rootstock and grown in alluvial soils to achieve more fruity vines. Based on soil moisture levels as measured by neutron hydrometers in the vineyards, controlled irrigation is applied, thereby also ensuring small berries with an excellent skin to fruit ratio providing an intense colour and flavour spectrum. Leaf canopies were carefully managed to ensure the berries receive adequate sunlight with 80% trellised and 10% bush vines.

about the harvest: The grapes were sourced from a single vineyard picked when they reached optimum physiological ripeness.

in the cellar : At the cellar the grapes were cleaned on sorting tables to ensure only the best bunches were used. Unlike other red cultivars the bunches are not de-stemmed, but are allowed to ferment whole in a process known as carbonic maceration. The juice was pumped over the skins every two hours to create a deep purple colour and soften the wine. The juice was fermented for seven to eight days on the skins while the temperature was maintained at 24° and 25° C with the help of electronic cooling taps. Half of the Merlot underwent malolactic fermentation in French oak vats and the other half on French oak staves. The wine was then matured in French oak for eight months, stabilised and filtered before bottling.

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