Nick Pentz, co-owner of Groote Post, is particularly excited with this prestigious award for Groote Post’s 2014 Merlot. “I’m extremely proud of our dedicated team in the cellar and vineyards - guided by our winemaker, Lukas Wentzel, and our viticulturist Jannie de Clerk - for this achievement. I feel that this is a significant honour as merlot has always been considered a challenging wine to make in the Cape.” These sentiments were endorsed by Michael Fridjhon, Chairman of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, who commented, “It was particularly gratifying to have a trophy award for merlot – a category that has been battling for some time.” In fact this year is the first time merlot has returned to the select trophy club since the 2012 competition.
In the vineyard: The merlot vineyards from which the grapes were harvested are between 14 and 15 years old. Supplementary irrigation helps de-stress the vines in the heat and dryness of late summer. The grapes for the 2014 vintage were harvested fairly ripe at 24° - 26°B with an average yield of 7 tons per hectare. One of the main challenges in making quality merlot is to eliminate the green flavours, which arise from uneven ripening. To minimise this, canopy management; thinning the crop to one bunch per shoot; careful bunch selection; and berry sorting are critical in guiding the wine, ultimately, into bottle.
In the cellar: The grapes had cold maceration for 2 days in stainless steel tanks and open tanks. The juice was pumped over and the cap punched down three to four times a day. The juice was left on the skins for 14 days after fermentation. Malolactic fermentation and ageing took place in 300-litre French Oak barrels - 30% new wood, 40% 2nd fill and 30% 3rd fill.
Tasting notes: Gorgeous berry and plum aromas, with a subtle hint of mint, follow on to a lush palate with juicy blackberries and cedar notes. The wine is round and full, silky and elegant, with a long finish.
Retail price: The Groote Post Merlot 2014 is widely available nationally at leading retailers and restaurants and retails for approximately R128.
THE OLD MUTUAL TROPHY WINE SHOW is South Africa’s premier wine competition that recognises the top local wines and winemakers, and honours excellence in the wine industry. The judging panel has been chaired by leading wine authority Michael Fridjhon since the inception of the show in 2002. The panel comprises three international judges and six local judges with the participation of a team of local associate panelists, covering a broad range of expertise and working with a 100-point scoring system. The judges awarded a total of 35 gold medals from the 1067 wines judged, from which the final 21 trophy winning wines were selected. These included 7 dry red wines, 7 dry white wines, 3 dessert wines, 2 Cape port-style wines, and 6 museum class entries.
A VISIT TO GROOTE POST
Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the historic Groote Post farm presents a rustic and rural atmosphere with undulating hills, vast open spaces and warm country hospitality. In addition to a wide range of award-winning wines, Hilda’s Kitchen’s superb culinary experience and Farm Drives through the private game camp and vineyards, Groote Post also offers a superb wedding venue; picnics and monthly country markets in the summer; a child-friendly area with a jungle gym and rolling lawns; beautiful views of the Atlantic coast and Table Mountain; nature walks; bird-watching in the hide on the dam and spectacular West Coast flowers in spring.
Groote Post Vineyards
Tel: 022 492 2825 · Email: email@example.com · Website: www.grootepost.co.za