Plaisir de Merle Chardonnay 2015
Colour: Light straw with a green tint.
Bouquet: Orange peel, pear, almonds and notes of oak and toast.
Taste: Flinty notes and stone fruit, citrus, lemon and green apple flavours. Toasty oak flavours, balanced with creaminess in a lingering aftertaste.
Enjoy on its own or with fish, white meats and salads.
In The Vineyard
The diversity of the soils, slopes and elevation is closely linked with the quality
of Plaisir de Merle wines. Well-drained, weathered granite soils (predominantly
Tukulu and Hutton), with good water retention, allow minimal irrigation with
most vineyards dry land. Grapes were sourced from three vineyards at Plaisir
de Merle. The vines, ranging from 14 to 20 years in age, are situated between
250m and 450m above sea level on the south-eastern slopes of the
Simonsberg. The fourth vineyard is situated in the Robertson Valley.
Viticulturist: Freddie le Roux
About The Harvest
The grapes were harvested by hand at between 23.3° and 24.6° Balling.
In The Cellar
juice of each vineyard was kept separately, clarified, and then 75% was
fermented in 300-litre French oak barrels and the balance in stainless steel
tanks. The wine in the barrels remained on the lees for nine months. A
combination of first-fill (55%), second-fill (38%) and third-fill (7%) barrels was
used. The barrels were rolled or stirred regularly to suspend the lees in order to
gain complexity, better integrate the oak flavours, and add to the mouth-feel of
the wine. Partial malolactic fermentation increases complexity and adds to a
fuller mouth-feel. The individual barrels were then tasted and the blend
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 team.