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Longridge Misterie 2015

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Longridge Misterie 2015
Jasper Raats of Longridge.

“Is this the best that Longridge can do?” was the question put to winemaker Jasper Raats at the launch of Misterie 2015, a blend of 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, set to sell for R2000 a bottle. “It’s the best that Longridge can do with Merlot,” was his reply.

I tasted it semi-blind (I knew which wines were in the line-up but not in what order) against three leading examples of Pomerol, namely Chateau Trotanoy 2014 (available from Wine Cellar at R3 755 a bottle), Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus 2014 (R3 955), Vieux Chateau Certan 2014 (₤175 a bottle from Handford Wines in London) and cult Italian wine Masseto Toscana 2013 (global average price $694 a bottle).

There will be inevitable debate about the price of the Misterie 2015 but suffice to say, it holds its own against other leading examples of Merlot-driven wine from around the world and it is surely time that top-end South African wine stop being sold at discount.

Tasting notes and ratings for the wines in order of pouring:

Chateau Trotanoy 2014
Red fruit plus some subtle herbal fragrance, earth and spice. Relatively medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins – very elegant. A slight impression of tomato cocktail before an austere finish.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus 2014
Black and blue fruit plus some incense on the nose. Rich and full bodied on the palate. Seemingly quite heavily extracted, the finish particularly dry.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

Longridge Misterie 2015
Matured for 24 months in French oak, 60% new. A hint of reduction before black fruit plus mint and other fresh herbs – instantly recognizable as South African on account of the particular sense of “greenness”  but this is arguably no bad thing as a clear sense of provenance is presumably what punters want at this end of the market. Rich and full on the palate with sweet fruit offset by somewhat tart acidity, the tannins smooth and soft.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

Vieux Chateau Certan 2014
Red and black fruit plus some herbal fragrance. Extraordinary fruit density, fresh acidity, firm but fine tannins – full but balanced.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

Masseto Toscana 2013
Red currant and plums, vanilla and boot polish on the nose.  Sweet, rich and broad on the palate. Dense fruit and smooth of texture.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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