A Tale of Small Berries
In South African wine circles it’s not often that one hears Merlot spoken about in hushed tones. Yet there appears to be cautious optimism about it this year. Actually, some winemakers were not so cautious: Rianie Strydom said the Merlot grapes that hit the Dombeya and Haskell winery in Stellenbosch “was the best Merlot I’ve seen in my winemaking career”.
The frequent criticism of Merlot in the local context is that it displays green vegetal and leafy flavours and lacks generosity of fruit – something which is hard to reconcile with the consumer perception that Merlot is easy to drink and approachable, a soft and gentle wine for red wine beginners.
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