Vergelegen estate in Somerset West, one of South Africa’s most consistent producers of top wines, has launched a new, site-specific collection – the Vineyard Range.

The new wines, a Merlot and two Cabernet Sauvignons, reflect the outstanding characteristics of blocks of vineyards at the acclaimed 319-year-old estate. Their production has been a long-term team effort that has blended local and international expertise.

In an ongoing pursuit of excellence, Vergelegen has adopted the services of Michel Rolland, a distinguished Bordeaux-based oenologist who consults to international clients. Rolland has collaborated closely with winemaker André van Rensburg, who joined Vergelegen in 1998 and has enjoyed a stellar wine career with the estate.]

The harvest of 2014 was the first vintage that brought together the skills of André van Rensburg and Michel Rolland,” says Vergelegen CEO Don Tooth. “With André’s passion for growing wines in the vineyard and Michel’s blending finesse, we embarked on an exciting journey to create wines that are a true reflection of the site.

“When developing single blocks of vines, each one needs to be nurtured in a manner that allows its unique characteristics and full potential to develop. These wines are prime examples of how, with gentle nurturing and support, vineyards are capable of expressing their site-specific personalities in a bottle. We are delighted to share the results.”

The three wines are:

The Mistake – Merlot:

“Andre and Michel (often referred to as Mr Merlot) were putting together the 2014 blends when Michel misunderstood Andre’s volume requirements. Instead of putting together a blend of 3000 cases, he created a 300 case blend from two of Vergelegen’s key sites. This ‘mistake’ was so good we just had to bottle it and will strive to repeat it whenever we can,” said Tooth.

The Mistake 2014 has ripe berry fruit, hints of cherry and spice with fine tannins on the aftertaste. It retails for R385/bottle.

The First Thought – Cabernet Sauvignon:

 “The grape varietal that truly prospers at Vergelegen is Cabernet Sauvignon, so when people wonder where to get an amazing Cabernet, the first thought is that it has to be Vergelegen,” said van Rensburg.

The colour is bright ruby and shows ripe black fruit – blackcurrants and black cherries with hints of spice, cedarwood and lead pencils. It retails for R425/bottle.

The Last Word – Cabernet Sauvignon:

 “Just when you realise your ‘first thought’ was on the money, you try this wine and quickly realise that not only does Vergelegen represent the start of the journey, but it also has the last word on excellent Cabernet,” said van Rensburg.

These grapes are sourced from one of the oldest vineyards, planted in 1999. It has deep red soil with very high clay content, and the classical Cabernet clone grows tiny, thick-skinned berries with exceptional flavours and intense tannins. The wine retails at R425/bottle.

The Vineyard Range can be purchased from the estate and leading wine outlets.

Contact: | 021847 2100

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