Shannon Black 2015
By Christian Eedes, 29 May 2019
The 3ha block that supplies grapes for the acclaimed Mount Bullet Merlot from Shannon Vineyards in Elgin is planted to no less than five clones. Starting with the 2013 vintage, viticulturist James Downes and winemaking team Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson bottled one of the clones separately on account of how well it was showing and released it as stand-alone offering known as Shannon Black or Black Bullet. They’ve done that again in the case of the 2015, this time choosing French clone MO343 whereas previously it was an Italian clone.
The 2015 is a very particular wine – the aromatics possessing an intense herbal quality to go with red and black fruit plus oak spice. The palate, meanwhile, is lithe and fresh – pure fruit, vibrant acidity and super-fine tannins. There’s no looking past that green-ness and yet it well meshed with the fruit, the wine very true to its place of origin. Total production was three 228-litre barrels and the price is R1 025 a bottle.
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