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Meerlust Merlot 2016

$66.00
Sale price

Regular price $66.00

Tasted late in 2018, the 2016 Meerlust Merlot was already showing great approachability and charm. The dark fruit and opulence of the wine is immediately apparent. We have been refining the viticulture to produce more balanced, flavourful fruit. Intense dark brambly fruit on the nose, mulberry, liquorice and damson plum with hints of dark chocolate and spice, tempered by a stony minerality. The medium-full bodied palate offers generous, ripe, pure Merlot fruit with refreshing acidity, structured yet silky tannins and pronounced length and minerality. There is a core of juiciness, opulence and richness typical of the variety, while the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot lend greater complexity to the wine.

The Producer

Overview
Growing fine wines on the Meerlust Estate has been part of the Myburgh family tradition for eight generations, beginning in 1756. Long recognized for producing world-class wines, the Meerlust Estate is singularly rich in charm and history.

A tour of the estate, situated fifteen kilometers south of Stellenbosch, reveals its graceful manor house, classical wine cellar, rose gardens, family cemetery, dovecote and bird sanctuary.

The first owner of the property, a German immigrant named Henning Huising, recognized the beauty and potential of the farm and settled here in 1693. He named his new-found home "Meerlust", meaning "pleasure of the sea", as the manor house sits on a granite outcrop only 5 km from False Bay, and in the warm summer months the vineyards are refreshed by ocean breezes and evening mists which roll in from the coast.

Visitors to the Estate - a National Monument - have for centuries anticipated seeing the cool, white façade of the Manor House as they passed through the gates and along the palm and oak tree-lined drive.  Not much has changed.  Today, that sense of having arrived at a most treasured home and estate is enhanced by the knowledge - on seeing the sweep of vineyards that flank the drive - that here grow the grapes of the prized Meerlust wines.

Contemporary Meerlust is an exciting fusion of the refreshingly modern and the tirelessly classical.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

Tasted late in 2018, the 2016 Meerlust Merlot was already showing great approachability and charm. The dark fruit and opulence of the wine is immediately apparent. We have been refining the viticulture to produce more balanced, flavourful fruit. Intense dark brambly fruit on the nose, mulberry, liquorice and damson plum with hints of dark chocolate and spice, tempered by a stony minerality. The medium-full bodied palate offers generous, ripe, pure Merlot fruit with refreshing acidity, structured yet silky tannins and pronounced length and minerality. There is a core of juiciness, opulence and richness typical of the variety, while the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot lend greater complexity to the wine.

The Producer

Overview
Growing fine wines on the Meerlust Estate has been part of the Myburgh family tradition for eight generations, beginning in 1756. Long recognized for producing world-class wines, the Meerlust Estate is singularly rich in charm and history.

A tour of the estate, situated fifteen kilometers south of Stellenbosch, reveals its graceful manor house, classical wine cellar, rose gardens, family cemetery, dovecote and bird sanctuary.

The first owner of the property, a German immigrant named Henning Huising, recognized the beauty and potential of the farm and settled here in 1693. He named his new-found home "Meerlust", meaning "pleasure of the sea", as the manor house sits on a granite outcrop only 5 km from False Bay, and in the warm summer months the vineyards are refreshed by ocean breezes and evening mists which roll in from the coast.

Visitors to the Estate - a National Monument - have for centuries anticipated seeing the cool, white façade of the Manor House as they passed through the gates and along the palm and oak tree-lined drive.  Not much has changed.  Today, that sense of having arrived at a most treasured home and estate is enhanced by the knowledge - on seeing the sweep of vineyards that flank the drive - that here grow the grapes of the prized Meerlust wines.

Contemporary Meerlust is an exciting fusion of the refreshingly modern and the tirelessly classical.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.