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 Shiraz, 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.
The 2016 Estate Merlot is medium-bodied, with a crimson core and purple hue. Offering up aromas of forest floor, cured meat and red cherries, there is a fine balance between ripeness and savoury complexity. The palate is firm and fresh, strewn with strawberry, blueberry and hints of dried thyme. Spicy new oak is well integrated on the palate, supporting supple yet generous, sweetly soft tannins. A densely packed, dark fruit core runs through to an earthy and long engaging finish. It is classy and serious enough for 5 to 10 years ageing but is already delicious in its youth.
Ageing Potential: 5 to 10 years.
Serving temperature: 14 to 16° Celsius.
Date tasted: 22 December 2016
Variety: 100% Merlot
Appellation: Rust en Vrede, Stellenbosch
12th February 2015 – 3rd March 2016
Malolactic Fermentation in barrel.
14months in 100% French oak with medium toast.
Alcohol – 14.35 vol%
pH – 3.55
Acidity – 5.7g/l
Res. Sugar – 2.4g/l
Winemaker: Coenie Snyman
Viticulturist: Dirkie Mouton
Climate & Soil
Mediterranean climate with precisely 469ml 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 a 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 3rd of February 2016. The winter of 2015 was extremely dry, with a maximum rainfall of 469mm, much lower than the average 712mm. The cool months after winter triggered a good bud break followed by immediate dry weather. These conditions resulted in a high number of bunches, producing smaller berries. The smaller berries balanced the effects of the dry conditions, which allowed for a normal and healthy production.