Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Merlot 1998

Bright ruby hues dominate the colour. Good integration of peppery vanilla aromas from the oak and the ripe black current characteristics of the fruit give a hint of what to expect from the palate. Medium to full bodied, with good, meaty, and fruit characters of black berries and cherries with soft tannins make this wine elegant but with enough “power” to last well. A sweetish almond character follows through from the nose and the wine finishes well.

variety : Merlot [ Merlot ]
winemaker : Guy Webber
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 14.19 % vol  rs : 2.2 g/l  pH : 3.44  ta : 5.8 g/l  va : 0.65 g/l  so2 : 111 mg/l  fso2 : 45 mg/l  
pack : Bottle  

ageing : The wine is already easily enjoyed at this stage, but will gain in complexity and character with further cellaring until around 2004.

in the vineyard : Planted between 1990 and 1993, the vineyards bearing the grapes used to craft this wine are grown on slopes facing west and north-west and in soils originating from decomposed granite and Table Mountain sandstone. The vines are all grafted onto nematode-resistant rootstocks of Richter 99, Richter 110 and Ruggeri 140 and are trellised on five-wire fence systems. When needed, the vines receive supplementary overhead irrigation to limit the amount of moisture-stress they are subjected to. The yield from the vineyard was restricted to an average of 6.3 tonnes per hectare to further enhance the quality of the fruit.

about the harvest: All the grapes for this wine were harvested by hand between 19 February and 25 February 1998 and reached the cellar at between 22.5 and 24.6 degrees Balling.

in the cellar : After destalking and crushing, the mash was fermented with a selected, pure yeast culture. After six days the juice has been removed from the skins. Fermentation temperatures averaged out at around 28 degrees Celsius.

Once the fermentation had been completed, the wine was drained off the primary lees and transferred to a “resting” tank. A brief settling period preceded the transfer of the wine into small, 225 litre oak barrels. A light egg-white fining had been used to “polish” the wine before it was bottled. The wine spent a total of 23 months in barrels of which the following were used: 35% new; 26% second-fill and 39% third-fill 72% French oak; 18% American oak and 10% Russian oak.

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