The release of a new vintage of Mount Bullet Merlot from Shannon Vineyards in Elgin can only be met with high expectations – the 2008 vintage was rated 5 Stars in the 2011 edition of Platter’s while the 2007, 2009 and 2011 were all nominated for the guide’s ultimate accolade.
The 2011 is now out selling for R285 a bottle. Grapes as usual from a three-hectare block planted to five different clones, the wine made using spontaneous fermentation and matured for 20 months in French oak, 40% new.
It’s archetypal Merlot – plush and smooth textured with ripe plums and cherries, gorgeous oak in the form of vanilla and spice plus a hint of oystershell. On being given a sneak preview of the wine back in August last year, I gave it a score of 90/100 (see here) and I think that’s pretty much where it’s at – seductive but not quite as fine as the exceptional 2010.