Plaisir de Merle Limited Edition Charles Marais 2013
Colour: Dense, inky plum
Bouquet: Aromatic dark fruit and savoury notes on the nose
Taste: Red berries, dark fruit and juicy tannins blend seamlessly with pencil shavings, sweet vanilla and spice to deliver a multi-layered, full-bodied wine.
This wine will mature well for ten years and more.
30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot
A superbly food-friendly wine, the Charles Marais will pair well withmany dishes, including a roasted rack of lamb.
In The Vineyard
The vineyards selected were observed over several vintages to ensure the best building
blocks for the final blend. Located on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain where
well-drained, weathered granite soils nourish the vines. The growing season was
characterised by a wet winter and cold temperatures that lasted until mid-spring. This
cold spring resulted in uniform ripening of the grapes and delayed the harvest by about
10 days later than usual. The longer hanging and ripening period on the vine culminated
in exceptional quality grapes with concentrated colour and flavour.
VITICULTURIST: Freddie le Roux
About The Harvest
The grapes were hand-harvested in the early morning when the fruit was at its most
flavourful and hand-sorted before being destalked and crushed separately.
In The Cellar
The different varietals were immediately cooled down to approximately 13° C and fermented separately in small 5 000 litre stainless steel tanks at 24° C - 26° C. After alcoholic fermentation was completed, a period of maceration followed when the skins and wine remained in contact for up to two weeks. The wines underwent malolactic fermentation in 3rd fill 300 litre French oak barrels, racked off the sediment and returned to new 300 litre French oak barrels for 16 months. Only the barrels showing the purest varietal character were selected for the final blend which spent a further 6 month maturation period in 3rd fill French oak barrels before being bottled without any prior filtration. The wine spent almost two years in the bottle to develop further complexity and structure.
Established by the French Huguenots in 1693 on the slopes of the Simonsberg
Mountains between Paarl and Franschhoek, Plaisir de Merle is a rare gem. A Distell
showpiece, this 974-hectare estate in Simondium, Paarl, has earned international
acclaim for its white and red wines. About 400 hectares are planted with a variety of
noble grape cultivars such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Malbec, and an area of only about 80
hectares of prime vineyards has been set aside for the Plaisir de Merle cellar.
Winemaker Niel Bester attributes the success of his wines to being able to work with
great fruit coming from a very unique terrain and the invaluable input from his viticulture