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Noble Hill Merlot 2011

Other recent vintages:  2014   2013   2012   2010   Complete list

A rebel with a cause: you'll see why this Merlot is James Dean as Jim Stark, cavorting with Cabs while other Merlots dabble in "easy-drinking fruitiness." Black cherry, dark plum, and a full mouth-feel.

In the Vines

Our Merlot is grown on a single vineyard which has produced fantastic wines vintage after vintage since being planted in 1998. The clay-rich soil on which the vineyard is established has a high gravel content which facilitates even drainage. The vineyard is a model of even ripening.

Beyond its inherent quality, we give this vineyard a great deal of attention and love, especially with respect to leaf-plucking, shoot combing, and cluster selection. These actions are done manually two to three times per year in order to expose the berries to the sun evenly and reduce herbaceous and under-ripe characters in the wine. Even ripening in the 2011 vintage assisted in this process, yielding a particularly stellar vintage.

The Wine

This is where it gets tricky! Merlot is certainly not an easy wine to make. We strive for a balance between deep, luscious flavours and austere, elegant structure. This yields a wine which is ready to compete in the big leagues and breaks the traditional conception of Merlot as an also-ran. Fermented on the skins, the wine is gently pressed and left to 225 litre French oak barriques for 18 months. It is racked twice during this period, and ultimately bottled with minimal intervention. The result is a deep, clear colour with intense aromas of black cherry, dried plum, and spice. The palette is focused with lingering black fruit and caramel derived from oak contact. Enjoy confidently through 2021.

Old Mutual Wine Show Silver Medal
Old Mutual Wine Show top score for Merlot
Veritas Awards Silver Medal
Platter's South African Wine Guide 4 Stars

Alcohol   14.2%
Origin   Simonsberg-Paarl
pH   3.42
Production   42 barrels
Residual sugar   3.3 g/l
Total acid   6.1 g/l

Noble Hill Merlot 2011


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