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Muratie Ronnie Melck Family Tribute Shiraz 2011

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I have no problem if scores on this site are seen as conservative. Whereas for many critics a sub-90 score implies a veiled admonition, for me wines scoring 86 to 89 can still be hugely enjoyable and the Laurens Campher white blend from Stellenbosch property Muratie is a case in point. The 2013 has just been released and again it’s an intriguing proposition without having quite the intensity or complexity to warrant a 90-plus score.

Muratie Laurens Campher 2013
Price: R95
46% Chenin Blanc, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Verdelho and 10% Viognier. Fermented and matured in barrel, 25% new. Lime, peach and pineapple, a hint of spice and some yeast complexity on the nose. Pleasantly thick textured with tangy acidity. Difficult to think of a more interesting white blend for under R100.

Score: 88/100.

The flagship Ronnie Melck Family Tribute Shiraz 2011 is an altogether more serious wine and here there’s no problem getting over the 90-point threshold.

Broad shoulders.
Broad shoulders.

Muratie Ronnie Melck Family Tribute Shiraz 2011
Price: R350
Matured for 16 months in 225-litre French oak barrels. Red and black berries, pepper and spice, a touch of oak-derived vanilla and some not unpleasant reduction. Fruit delineation and tannin structure are both very good, the acidity however feels a little spiky (the TA is 6.9g/l, according to the fact sheet). Drinking it, it feels true to Stellenbosch which is very much in its favour. Only 2 000 bottles made.

Score: 91/100.

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