Who says South Africa isn’t capable of top Merlot? Last night the Morgenster 2005, a blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon showed very well indeed. A classic nose of red and black fruit, some cigar box and a touch of forest floor by virtue of age. The palate more contemporary – ripe but not over-ripe, fresh acidity and soft but not slippery tannins. Really dense, not too sweet and not too savoury. Slick in the best sense.
This Somerset West property has had a somewhat unsettled stylistic approach and I have to say I was initially sceptical of the wines from the mid-2000s which were based on Merlot rather than Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc but nothing wrong with the 2005 nine years on from vintage.
That said, I’m not sure how much better it’s going to get by keeping it –Time James, founder of Grape.co.za always accuses me of being unduly conservative in estimating the drinking window for top SA red but I think five to 10 years of maturation will please most people most of the time.