The Secretary Bird Merlot is a moorish classic Merlot from cool Atlantic vineyards in South Africa.
Grapes are sourced from long-established vineyards on the Wellington/Swartland borders, an area of low rainfall with mainly decomposed granite soils. The vines are low-trellised and the grapes are picked mid-March. As we look for bright, juicy varietal fruit, the wine is supported by a very gently 10% oak for structure. Bunches are destemmed and placed in open top fermenters. Turbo pigeage is done 4 times daily (whilst up to half of the sugar is fermented), then only twice daily to the end of fermentation. Pigeage is a soft delicate way of wetting the cap and aerating the wine. Soft and fruity tannins is the wine goal. Malo-lactic fermentation follows. The wine is kept on the fine lees up to bottling.
A classic South African Merlot nose of ripe greengage and savoury bay. On the palate, there is equal richness, but the wine is surprisingly fresh.
Grilled lamb, pasta with a tomato-based sauce, chorizo and butterbean stew, spicy sausages and mash.