Zevenwacht Merlot 2004

John Platter - 4 stars
A spicy wine, indicative of the 2004 vintage conditions, that is both complex and generous. The intermingling of the three vineyard sites is apparent, with chocolate and ripe plum and cherry flavours in evidence, complemented by toasty oak and cedar wood aromatics. These barrel promoted flavours will integrate over the next six months and increase the complexity of the wine, both on palate and nose. This is a wine to take pleasure in now but will reward the patient with richness and the development of a silky-soft tannin structure. Charlie’s first ride in the factory – anticipation, admiration all coated with the best ever chocolate.


variety : Merlot | 100% Merlot
winemaker : 
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 14.0 % vol  rs : 2.3 g/l  pH : 3.58  ta : 6.0 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  body : Full  taste : Fragrant   wooded
pack : Bottle  

AWARDS
Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show 2004 - Silver
in the vineyard : Three distinctive sites were sourced in the Stellenbosch District for this wine. The first site, on the cool slopes of Helshoogte, provides bright and juicy fruit with good acidity. The second, on the lower southern slopes of Kuils River hills, imparts tannic weight and absolute fruit density on the palate.

The western slopes of Die Eike (Bottelary Hills) offer Ribena ripeness and generosity on the finish. Although soil types differ between the sites, they all have some form of decomposed granite (some shale inclusions in the Die Eike vineyard) lying over a structured clay subsoil allowing for ample drainage and water retention when required. Supplementary irrigation is normally not required, but over the last few years the dryer climate has meant that the Die Eike site is irrigated once before harvest.

about the harvest: 2002 manifested itself with a cool summer following the third consecutive parched winter, resulting in very few problems with disease. The grapes ripened quickly with rapidly accumulating sugar levels. Picked between 24 and 26.5ºBrix.

in the cellar : The grapes were destalked and gently crushed into 15 ton stainless steel fermentors. Fermentation temperature was kept cool at approximately 28ºCelsius and four pump overs were given during a 24 hour cycle. Fermentation took seven days. The wine was pressed off, including all the press fractions, to holding tanks where natural malolactic fermentation took place. On completion the wine was racked to 60% new French oak and 40% second fill French oak hogsheads (300l), where it lay quietly developing for 13 months.

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