Rust en Vrede Estate Vineyards Merlot 2016
Established in 1694, Rust en Vrede is proud to be part of a remarkable three hundred-year-old wine tradition. Since1977 the Engelbrecht family has specialized in the exclusive production of red wine, with the focus on Shyrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Proprietor Jean Engelbrecht has worked to establish Rust en Vrede as one of South Africa’s premium red wine estates, with full-bodied and complex wines that reflect the uniqueness of its Stellenbosch terroir.
‘This Merlot offering from Rust en Vrede, affirms their excellence as red wine specialists. Ripe plums, mulberry, liquorice, thyme and cured meats on the nose follow through on the palate – showing this complex wine as juicy and savoury simultaneously. Judicious use of oak alongside skin tannins add spice and structure whilst firmly supporting the fruit. This is a serious yet effortless Merlot – beautiful to drink now but will reward cellaring for the next decade.’ – Jolette Steyn
Ageing Potential: 5 to 10 years.
Serving temperature: 14 to 16° Celsius.
Date tasted: 12 August 2018
Variety: 100% Merlot
Appellation: Rust en Vrede, Stellenbosch
20th February – 16th March 2017
Malolactic Fermentation in barrel.
14 months in 100% French oak with medium toast.
Alcohol – 14.87 vol%
pH – 3.60
Acidity – 5.8g/l
Res. Sugar – 2.0g/l
Winemaker: Coenie Snyman
Viticulturist: Dirkie Mouton
Climate & Soil
Mediterranean climate with precisely 579 mm rainfall during vintage growing season. Rust en Vrede is a warmer microcosm in the Helderberg area, which is why we specialize in red wine, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot which lend themselves to full bodied wines with powerful structure. Our north facing vineyards are planted in Tukulu soil which is derived from Helderberg granite and Table Mountain sandstone, showing good water retention which allows for only moderate vine stress during dry years, A higher amount of sandstone allows more drainage which results in weaker growth and more intense wines, carefully monitored and supplemented by drip irrigation.
Picking began on the 20th of February 2017. The winter of 2016 was extremely dry, with a maximum rainfall of 579 mm, much lower than the average 712mm. The cool months after winter triggered a good bud break followed by immediate dry weather. The dry soil inhibited cell division in the early part of berry development, which resulted in smaller berries (20% smaller than usual). The berries were even smaller than 2015. The smaller berries balanced the effects of the dry conditions, which allowed for a normal and healthy production. The 2017 Merlot Vintage was 20% down on the previous year.