Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Merlot 2010

Colour: Deep red.
Bouquet: Lots of berry fruit with strawberries and cherries and hints of mint and oak spices.
Taste: Medium to full-bodied with strawberries and cherries followed by oak spices.

An ideal partner to robust dishes made from game poultry, venison and red meats, especially stews and casseroles.

variety : Merlot [ 100% Merlot ]
winemaker : Martin Moore & Wilhelm Coetzee
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 14.65 % vol  rs : 2.6 g/l  pH : 3.54  ta : 6.0 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  body : Medium  taste : Fruity   wooded
pack : Bottle  closure : Cork  

ageing : The wine will reach its full potential in the next 3 to 4 years.

in the vineyard : Background
Nine leading vineyard owners in the Durbanville district joined forces with Distell to create Durbanville Hills with the aim of promoting the regional individuality of this prime winegrowing area. The striking Durbanville Hills cellar sits on the side of a series of rolling hills with magnificent views of Table Mountain and Table Bay - the very geography that lies at the heart of what makes the wines so unique.

The Durbanville ward is officially considered one of the Cape's two coolest wine regions, thanks to the sea breezes that drift inland from False Bay and Table Bay and the late afternoon mists that bathe the slopes. These conditions are ideal for the slow ripening of the grapes, allowing them to develop their full-flavoured, intense character. Grapes are sourced only from the shareholder- growers, all of whom farm within the limited appellation of Durbanville. Meticulous crop control limits yields and promotes concentration of varietal flavour. Cellarmaster Martin Moore uses highly advanced cellar technology to ensure optimal extraction of colour and flavour.

Sustainable practices include maintaining the disciplines imposed by International Environmental Standard ISO 140001 such as in the treatment of waste water back to irrigation quality. In all its vineyards the growing practices prescribed by IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) are followed. These are designed to sustain natural resources. In addition, the members protect on their farms 210 ha of endangered Renosterveld as part of the Biodiversity Wine Initiative (BWI).

The Rhinofields range carries very limited release wines and the name refers to the indigenous Cape fynbos growing close to the Durbanville Hills cellar and which is being conserved.

The vineyards (vineyard consultant: Drikus Heyns)
The unique character of this wine lies in the influence of the different vineyards from which the grapes were sourced. The grapes were selected from two distinctly different vineyards - one on a sunny, north-facing hill, chosen for the prominent varietal aromas of the grapes, and the other on a cool, south-facing slope, chosen for the sound structure the grapes would impart to the wine.

about the harvest: Hand harvested during March between 25° - 26° Balling.

in the cellar : The grapes from these two vineyards were vinified separately. After 24 hours of cold soaking, the must was fermented on the skins (between 26°C and 28°C) in closed, specially designed auto fermenters (until dry). During this period the maximum fruit, colour and tannin extraction from the skins was made possible through very soft, continuous timer-regulated pump-over cycles. To soften the texture, the wine was left on the skins for one week after the fermentation period. Controlled malolactic fermentation took place in tank after which the wine was matured for 18 months in small oak using new French oak barrels.

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