Yesterday, the launch of the 2011 vintage of the flagship wine from Morgenster with winemaker Henry Kotzé plus Cheval Blanc managing director Pierre Lurton as well as that property’s winemaker Pierre-Olivier Clouet presenting – the Cheval Blanc technical team having played a consulting role at Morgenster since inception.
“We look for freshness, balance, ageing potential and complexity,” says Clouet. “This means picking a little bit earlier to ensure floral and red berry notes and extracting gently to achieve a refined, elegant wine – we don’t want rusticity and [excessive] dryness. As for barrel maturation, we don’t want the oak to stand before the wine.”
2011 was apparently particularly dry and windy according to Kotzé, something that evidently resulted in particular viticultural and winemaking challenges.
Lourens River Valley 2011
Price: R149 (to be confirmed)
59% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. On the nose, more red than black fruit and herbal top note. Pleasantly lean with fresh acidity and fine tannins. There’s a definite “green” quality to the wine, which both Clouet and Lurton acknowledge but insist adds complexity.
Price: R309 (to be confirmed)
59% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot. Very primary on the nose with more black than red fruit. Rich and full with succulent fruit, moderate acidity and very fine tannins – the whole wine tending to being rather “plush”. Lurton admits that they bumped up the Merlot proportion on account of the Cabernet starting to stress as a result of the dry conditions of the vintage.