2010 Downes Family Vineyards Merlot Mount Bullet Elgin Valley
Producer: Downes Family Vineyards Style: Red Wine Grape Type:Merlot Origin: South Africa Region:South Africa
89(+?)? Points | International Wine Cellar , May/June 2013
(from Italian and French merlot clones): Bright red-ruby. Cassis, tobacco, menthol, mint and eucalyptus on the nose. Distinctly greener than the great 2008 Mount Bullet, showing a slightly sharp character but a firm core to its dark fruit, licorice and peppery herb flavors. With its herbal character and firm tannic spine, this youthfully dry wine needs time, but I doubt it will ever be in the class of the 2008. Incidentally, this winery, which is known as Shannon Vineyards in South Africa, did not make this wine in 2009.
South Africa has produced wines in the area of Cape Town since the 17th century, but the country's significant place in the U.S. market is far more recent. During the era of apartheid, trade sanctions imposed on imports from South Africa kept these wines out of the U.S. and many other markets, with the effect that local South African winemakers had little incentive to produce wines that could compete in a global setting... Read More »
Merlot enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1990s as consumers suddenly discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. A wave of Merlot plantings followed, frequently in soils and microclimates completely inappropriate for this variety, and the market was soon... Read More »
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