“The best red wine we've tried this year!” - Michael Bittel, of Sunset Corners in Miami in praise of Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2010. On 5 May 2016 Linda and I went to a wonderful event featuring six South African winemakers, each grilling a range of meats, while pouring their wines.
As one might expect, there were many lovely wines to taste. Some were old friends, wines I knew, and others were new to me. Unexpectedly, the red wine that raised my eyebrows was from an estate I was unfamiliar with- Morgenster. Modelled after a classic Right Bank Bordeaux wine, I was stunned.
When wine lovers talk about experiencing a great wine they often focus on the aroma in the glass. And certainly in this arena, this wine did not disappoint. The Morgenster Lourens River Valley Red 2010 was vibrant and fresh, offering up aromas of blackcurrant and cherry with notes of clove, chive and anise.
Yet in my experience a truly outstanding wine explodes with intensity right from the middle. This red showed exactly that, with a palate of vanilla, cacao and caramel. So intense were the flavors that it was downright delicious, inviting one to take another taste. It was sheer ecstasy with a sweetness of fruit that was lip smacking and brought an immediate smile to my face. The intense fruit of this wine was balanced with good acidity and velvety, well integrated tannins. The spiciness of the Cabernet Franc balances this plush, crowd pleasing Bordeaux blend. I could have sworn that I was drinking a first rate St Emilion!
This wine drinks beautifully right now. Yet with its great acidity and well balanced tannins, I have no doubt that it will gracefully improve in the bottle for years to come. So delicious is it at this moment, I doubt I'll have the patience to cellar it. It simply tastes too good!
As I mentioned earlier, I was unfamiliar with the wines of Morgenster. This morning I googled the estate to learn more about it. Cheval Blanc director, Pierre Lurton, is consulting winemaker here. And that explains a lot! Lovers of Bordeaux and particularly the wines of St Emilion, will not simply love this wine, but will understand Lurton's influence.
Years ago, I had a wine salesperson who would come into the shop proclaiming: "Michael, I have some sexy juice for you to try!" This morning, I remembered his call to taste, for this wine is truly sexy juice!
Sunset Corners has been recognized by the Miami New Times as the "Best Liquor Store in Miami and by Marketwatch Magazine as Retailer of the Year. http://www.sunsetcorners.com/)