South African Stunner of a Merlot

We’ve been on a quest to find a distinctive, reasonably priced, thought provoking Merlot at the shop. There have been so many flabby, lackluster, overripe expressions of the grape among the dozens we’ve had the opportunity to taste and if we’re going to stock a straight merlot, it’s gotta be something we want to enthusiastically recommend.

Our quest recently ended as we tasted and stocked this South African stunner Merlot from Rust en Vrede. Rust en Vrede is an old-school Stellenbosch producer that pretty much has earned a reputation as one of the top producers of red wines in the region. Their 2010 Merlot features everything you’d come to expect from a high-level South African producer – new world style ripe fruit and old world style texture and structure.

Dark fruits of black cherry, plum and currants are evident on the nose with mouth-filling fruit and fine-grained tannins on the palate.  There’s some vibrant acidity lingering in the background too, which also provides some refreshment during the long finish. There’s nothing jammy or soft about it. This is truly great stuff for $20!

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