Holden Manz Merlot Reserve 2017

By , 28 May 2020

Thierry Haberer of Holden Manz.

Holden Manz winemaker Theirry Haberer, who studied at the Faculty d’Oenologie, University of Bordeaux and at one stage worked with super-consultant Michel Rolland, brings a particular sensibility to his craft and it’s not what you might describe as “less is more”.

The Merlot Reserve from this Franschhoek property is usually impactful and this is again the case with the pre-release 2017. Spontaneously fermented in new 225-litre barrels before maturation lasting 20 months in 500-litre barrels, half of which again were new, and with an alcohol of 15.07%, this might appear a wine that is a bit behind the times in the sense of being so big but with winter setting in and more hearty food on the table, it actually works well.

The nose shows dark fruit, violets, incense, earth and even a little oyster shell while the palate is rich and full bodied with fine tannins. It has layers of flavour and is not too unwieldy. Indeed, it comes across as rather luxurious as it should with it priced at R525 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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