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La Bri Merlot 2010

How Merlot can you go?

Last night I revisited the Merlot 2010 from La Bri in Franschhoek for the first time since it won the trophy for best in class at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. I was on the panel along with Angela Lloyd and Anthony Rose which judged Merlot and given its perennial woes, we couldn’t help wondering if we were overestimating it.

My thoughts now? It’s a modest but entirely likeable wine. Upfront red and black fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins. It was matured for 21 months in 300-litre French oak barrels, only 12% new, so  hardly over-oaked. Perhaps not trophy worthy but better for me than the 3 Stars it was rated in Platter’s 2013


  1. So what would you rate it now, Christian, after rating it 18+ at the TWS? (Most unlike you not to give a score!) I was closer to Joerg Pfuetzner’s Platter rating than to the absurd Trophy Wine Show score, though I’d probably have gone to 3.5 stars. Pleasant enough, as you say, if you like the rich, chocolatey, soft, sweet-fruited and very ripe style, but rather empty and lacking character, I thought.

  2. Apparently my original comment was a bit cryptic so let me elaborate: Regarding the spelling of Joerg Pfuetzner/Jörg Pfützner. I’m not sure what one’s supposed to do when it comes to umlauts (or umlaute?) online but to be pedantic, there are I would imagine instances where a Michael Müller is a different person to Michael Mueller or even Michael Muller.

    As for the wine, I was at a loss for words simply because I thought my blog post pretty much said all I had to say – not 18/20 but not 15/20 either. I think the wine really isn’t as bad as Tim makes out – clearly ripe but not that sweet for me (a residual sugar of 1.5g/l). I guess I didn’t want to be drawn in to yet another discussion of the merits of competition tasting – they exist because producer and consumer alike want them, regardless of how accurate or not they are.


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