This is the first time that Morgenster has released its classic Bordeaux style blends in the third year after harvest. Previously the Estate released its wines in the fourth year. However winemaker Henry Kotze points out that wine changes quite a bit from year three to year four, and releasing a year earlier offers the chance to savour the early vibrancy of the fruit in wines which have been crafted to be enjoyed for 20 years and beyond. This approach also showcases what Morgenster is achieving within the Schaapenberg microclimate.
The 2008 vintage will be remembered for elegant wines with silky fine tannins and classical fruit. This is a tribute to both viticulturist and winemaker who had to call on all their skill and experience to deal with a series of challenges from Mother Nature at harvest. Rigorous sorting and late nights ensured that only the best grapes reached the cellar.
VINEYARD REGION Stellenbosch; Helderberg ward
VINTAGE CONDITIONS Following good winter rains, cooler temperatures delayed bud break and harvest. As a result the wines produced great depth of fruit and elegant structures.
GRAPE VARIETIES 36% Merlot 33% Cabernet franc 19% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Petit Verdot
100% barrel maturation in 300l oak from French Coopers, for 18 months
Alc / Vol: 14.67% Acidity: 5.37g/l pH: 3.74 Residual sugar: 2.13g/l Extract: 32.16g/l
FOOD MATCHES Most young bold Bordeaux blends pair well with something hearty. Big flavours abound, and team well with a prime piece of beef or lamb, accompanied by something creamy.
COLOUR Dark plum, concentrated centre and opaque to the edges.
NOSE Enticing with almonds, coffee and sweet caramel, and alluring sniffs of cassis and vanilla pods. Great freshness with hits of blackberry sweetness.
PALATE Elegant entry, very plush and immediately filling. Sweeter dark berry fruit very evident, which contributes well to balancing the minerality which adds a lot of weight.
AWARDS John Platter 2011: 4½ stars Parker: 90 Points