Plaisir de Merle Chardonnay 2013

Colour: Light straw with a green tint. Bouquet: Lime, pear, almonds, notes of oak and a smoky toastiness Taste: Round and full with stone fruit, citrus and sweet, ripe tropical flavours and a light toastiness layered with creaminess in a lingering aftertaste. Sweet vanilla oak flavours enrich the taste experience.

Enjoy on its own or with fish, white meats and salads.

variety : Chardonnay [ 100% Chardonnay ]
winery : Plaisir De Merle
winemaker : Niel Bester
wine of origin : Paarl
analysis : alc : 14.03 % vol  rs : 2.5 g/l  pH : 3.52  ta : 5.6 g/l  
type : White  style : Dry  body : Full  taste : Fruity   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 0  closure : Screwcap  

in the vineyard : 

Background
Established by the French Huguenots in 1693 on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains between Paarl and Franschhoek, Plaisir de Merle is a rare gem. A Distell showpiece, this 974 hectare estate in Simondium, Paarl, has earned international acclaim for its white and red wines. About 400 hectares are planted with a variety of noble grape cultivars such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Malbec, and an area of only about 80 hectares of prime vineyards has been set aside for the Plaisir de Merle cellar. Winemaker Niel Bester attributes the success of his wines to being able to work with great fruit coming from a very unique terrain and the invaluable input from his viticulture team.

The vineyards
The diversity of the soils, slopes and elevations is closely linked with the quality of Plaisir de Merle wines. Well-drained weathered granite soils (predominantly Tukulu and Hutton) with good water retention allow minimal irrigation with most vineyards dry land. Grapes were sourced from four vineyards at Plaisir de Merle. The vines, ranging from 12 -23 years in age, are situated between 250 m and 450 m above sea level on the south-eastern slopes of the Simonsberg.

Viticulturist: Freddie le Roux

about the harvest: The grapes were harvested by hand at between 23.1° and 24.8°B.

in the cellar : The juice of each vineyard was kept separately, clarified and then 70% were fermented in 300-litre French oak barrels and the balance in s/s tanks. The wine remained on the lees for eight months. A combination of first-fill (50%), second-fill (25%) and third-fill (25%) barrels were used. The barrels were rolled or stirred regularly to suspend the lees in order to gain complexity, better integration of oak flavors and add to the mouthfeel of the wine. About 70% of the wine completed malolactic fermentation to increase complexity and add to a fuller mouth feel.

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