Sea Mountain Devils Peak - Merlot 2018 (6x75cl)
Merlot can be difficult to grow successfully as it often develops vegetal flavours and green tannins. To minimise this there needs to be strict canopy management, so we remove shoots twice, thin out bunches and also cut off leaves where necessary. This ensures a more open canopy which gives the berries better exposure to sunlight. This brings out the natural blackcurrant and red fruit character of Merlot and avoids green tannins. All our Merlot is grown on the valley's famous limestone soils. Robertson Valley experiences a unique afternoon wind (the South Easter) that cools the valley down from 16.00 to sunset helping preserve acidity and fruit flavours. Summer temperatures range from a cool 15 degrees at night to up to 30 degrees in the day.
Despite experiencing its second year of drought the 2018 vintage was exceptionally good. The weather was warm and dry throughout with cool nights, keeping the vines healthy. This has allowed for great fruit intensity and a Merlot which is wonderfully opulent and juicy on the palate.
VINIFICATION AND MATURATION:
The grapes were all hand harvested. After de-stemming they were lightly crushed and the wine was fermented in closed, stainless steel tanks, with pumper overs twice daily to extract colour, fruit and structure. 25% of the cuvee was then aged in a combination of 3 year old French and American oak barrels for 6 months.
Dark ruby colour. Sweet violet and blackberry fruits on nose. Succulent flavours of ripe plum and blackcurrant on palate, with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Medium weight structure with a smooth finish and soft tannins. Can be drunk now or within 4 years of the vintage.
Alcohol content: 14.5%. Total acidity: 5.6. g/1. PH: 3.51. Residual sugar: 2.2 g/1