River Garden Classique Merlot 2018


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Aromas of plums, blackcurrants and raspberries with a touch of spice greet you on the nose. The fruity flavours from the nose follow through to the meaty, juicy palate along with hints of black liquorice and cocoa.

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Harvest Description

The preceding three years has been the driest in recorded history in the South African Wine producing regions. However, the hot, dry weather kept the vineyards largely disease and pest-free and while December and January were hot – hitting 35°C at times – there were no intense heatwaves and the end of the growing season grew cooler, leading to better colour and flavour in later ripening varieties (especially reds). We experienced thunder storms during the flowering season in November and a severe thunder and hail storm during harvest in February. Thunder and lightning are full of nitrogen, which get deposited in the vines making them lush and green, in turn that helped with the overall state of our vines and ripening in a very difficult and dry season. Due to our unique topography and high rainfall we had enough water for all the normal requirements of our vines during and after harvest. Due to the dry season the crop levels were a little bit less than normal, but our overall quality is deemed very high as much of the loss in overall volume was due to smaller berries and bunches which, conversely, should lead to a greater concentration of flavour and colour in the 2018 wines.

In The Vineyard

Altitude: 168m above sea level
Age of vines: 16-17 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: 3.42
Total acid: 5.6 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.

Maturation Potential

This vintage can be enjoyed up to 2023.

Food Pairing

The River Garden Classique Merlot 2018 pairs well with foods of substance including grilled or barbequed lamb, beef, kudu and ostrich.


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