River Garden Classique Merlot 2017


Ripe, concentrated aromas of cherries, mulberries and plums with a hint of cigar box greet you on the nose. The fruity flavours from the nose follow through to the juicy palate along with olive-like nuances.

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Harvest Description

The preceding two winters to the 2017 harvest has been the driest in recorded history on Lourensford. However, due to enough cold weather during winter the vines did go into proper dormancy with budding that occurred normally. We also experienced one of the coolest and driest summers in history with moderate temperatures and cool nights that resulted in slow and even ripening. With good canopy management and perfect ripening conditions we managed to bring the grapes in at just the desired time. This resulted in refined wines with elegance, good natural acidity with depth and structure.

In The Vineyard

Altitude: 168m above sea level
Age of vines: 15-16 years
Rootstock: 101-14 Mgt
Clones: MO347
Slopes: South-East and South-Western facing slopes
Row direction: North-South
Soil type: Decomposed granite, Oakleaf and Tukulu formations


Alcohol: 14 vol %
pH: 3.41
Total acid: 6.0 g/l
RS: 2.9 g/l
Closure: Hand selected quality cork

Wine Information

Cultivar: 100% Merlot
Wood: Matured for 14 months in 300L French oak barrels of which 30% were new

Maturation Potential

This vintage can be enjoyed up to 2022.

Food Pairing

Versatile when it comes to food pairing options but a big wine that will pair well with big foods. Steak, kudu, ostrich, venison pie – this wine can handle all well. It will go well with grilled or barbequed foods as the intense flavours of the wine latch on to the pronounced ‘browning’ flavours which develop with these cooking methods.