Asara Merlot 2017 (6/case) (R109/BOTTLE)
Asara’s Vineyard range stays true to vineyard of origin by means of minimal cellar handling. The property is located in the Polkadraai Hills, Stellenbosch whose primary terroir influence is granite based soils and undulating hills.
Vibrant, warm, fresh
Of all South African winegrowing pockets, the Polkadraai – along with adjacent Annandale – is best known for growing Merlot. Often maligned as the ‘feminine’ wine; the weaker counterpart among the cultivars of Bordeaux, Merlot can be a fruit rich, plummy, attractive wine with much potential for secondary flavour development. Asara continues with a tradition that started long ago for producing premium quality Merlot. The vines are planted mid-altitude in southwest facing rows. Generous warmth for ripening and maritime influences work in collaboration to produce grapes of elegance that yet show a riper, plummier style.
A single vineyard planted at 130m to cool, nutrient-rich Tukulu soils. Located on a crest, the vineyard receives constant exposure to the sun, contributing to ripeness and richness of flavour in the grapes. Leaves are picked out twice during the berry set to increase sunlight exposure while still giving adequate shade. The blocks are harvested twice to avoid any under ripe grapes. The vineyard is 14 years of age and yields at an average B tons per hectare.
Harvest takes place in the early hours of morning into small lugs. The grapes are cooled overnight, and a rapid fermentation takes place at lower temperatures, preserving freshness and elegance of flavour Malolactic fermentation ensues in tank, and the wine is racked immediately to preserve fruit purity. Medium toast French oak is used to mature the wine, 10% of these being new 2251 barriques. The wine is bottled after 14-16 months.
Fresh red berries, subtle mint and vanilla unfold seamlessly on the nose. A fruit-sweet entry of fresh red fruit, with berries and mint on the mid palate. A smooth, well balanced and mouth- watering wine.
Residual sugar (RS) 2.3 g/l
Total Acidity CA) 5.6 gI/l