Zonnebloem Fine Art Merlot 1999

According to De Waal it shows intense, upfront flavours of both blueberry and blackberry with a slight touch of mint. Notes of vanilla and dark chocolate have been imparted by the wood.
A good complement to game bird, veal and pork dishes.

variety : Merlot [ 100% Merlot ]
winery : Zonnebloem Wines
winemaker : Jan de Waal
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 13.59 % vol  rs : 1.8 g/l  pH : 3.7  ta : 5.6 g/l  

ageing : Up to 8 years.

in the vineyard : The grapes for this wine, made by Jan de Waal, come from a single vineyard block of 10-year-old trellised vines in Bottelary Hills, overlooking Kuils River, and cooled by sea breezes from Table Bay and False Bay.

about the harvest: By adopting a process of selective hand-harvesting of the best from the block, only those grapes exhibiting full fruit and tannin ripeness were chosen, while still crisp and firm in texture with low pH levels. Flavours sought were a combination of blueberry and cassis, with picking at between 23 and 24 degrees Balling.

in the cellar : After destalking the grapes were pumped into fermenters and inoculated, macerated on the skins for seven days at 24 degrees Celsius. After fermentation and racking off the skins, pressed juice was added, followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation in steel tanks. The wine was racked twice but not at all filtered before being introduced into fine-grained, medium-charred 300-litre Nevers oak.
It spent nine months in wood and was blended from a selection of 87 barrels. Just 5 000 bottles of this wine have been produced.

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