“We’re a family business. We don’t have huge lots of wonga to throw around so we have to make the wines work,” says Rijk Melck, owner of Muratie in Stellenbosch. Francois Conradie has made the wine here since the 2006 vintage and based on a recent tasting of the 2008 through 2012 of the Isabella Chardonnay and the 2005 through 2010 of both the Ronnie Melck Shiraz and the Bordeaux-style red blend Ansela van de Caab quality is tracking up in general.
Wine of the day for me was the Ansela van de Caab 2009, reviewed before (see here) but looking better than ever. A blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, it was matured for 18 months in French oak, 45% new before being blended and returned to barrel for another six months. This is a classic Stellenbosch red – pure and concentrated dark fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. Full but balanced and should drink well until 2017. Price: R175 a bottle.