Bertrand shared that while his dream had always been to make great Bordeaux blends on Morgenster, and he thanked wine consultant Pierre Lurton of Château Cheval Blanc for his influence and involvement from the start of the Estate’s winemaking 19 vintages ago, it was also his aim to make great Italian wines from noble Italian varieties in South Africa. That at last is being realised. The Italian clones of Nebbiolo and Sangiovese that Bertrand imported are maturing and Morgenster is the only place in South Africa where these clones are planted.
Morgenster Reserve 2012 is the Estate’s flagship Bordeaux and is the third release for winemaker Henry Kotzé who is pretty upbeat about it: “Favourable harvest conditions and maturing vines let us make a wine in keeping with our philosophy of producing a blend that reflects the terroir and the best that can be achieved under the harvest conditions. These wines are crafted from the Schaapenberg mountainsides and will create memories from now until as far as 20 years into the future”.
As usual, the vintage determined the blend and the wine was shaped in collaboration with Pierre Lurton. Morgenster Reserve 2012 comprises 72% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon.
A dense ruby red colour ushers in a perfume of red and black berry richness, almonds and coffee with toffee. Classical pencil shavings, cigar box and cassis aromas also emerge. The complex mouth filling palate offers sweeter dark berry fruit woven into cashmere tannins with a fine balance of acidity, minerality and fruit youthfulness. Kotzé says it will pair well with hearty, rich, bold dishes.
Morgenster 2012 was awarded 4½ stars in the 2016 John Platter Guide. Available from the Estate, Morgenster’s online shop http://shop.morgenster.co.za/ or selected retail outlets at around R386.
Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2012
Morgenster’s sibling Bordeaux blend is made in an easily accessible style which lets the fruit do the talking first, balanced with tannins and acidity. Evolution and longevity are as usual part of this typical Morgenster offering. Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2012 is blended from 71% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
An opaque heart with vibrant brick red edges introduces aromas of black and red cherries, strawberry shortcake and cassis. There are also earthy and spicy nuances of liquorice, vanilla and sweet cinnamon. In the mouth flavours of ripe fruit are intertwined with elegant tannins. Kotzé recommends decanting this vintage as aeration releases further plum, mulberry and raspberry aromas and more abundant mouth flavours.
Morgenster Lourens River Valley was awarded 4½ stars in the 2016 John Platter Guide. Available from the Estate, Morgenster’s online shop http://shop.morgenster.co.za/ or selected retail outlets at RSP around R187.
Morgenster Italian Collection Nabucco 2013
The 2013 vintage was Bertrand’s seventh release from his treasured 1.6 hectare Nebbiolo vineyard. Validating his passion, patience and investment, this wine, made in the Italian manner, delivers the gravitas normally associated with international Nebbiolo and is regarded as a benchmark for wines from this cultivar made in South Africa.
The colour is a sparkling, bright red with a see through garnet heart, lighter towards the edges. The nose accords with the best in the world, promoting spice and flavours of the earth rather than fruit sweetness. There are wafts of intense lilac, thyme, lavender and basil flower, and a spicy sweetness of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. On the palate the flavours are complex, lingering and enticingly put together with sweet strawberry, pomegranate and a cherry acidity zing. Kotzé says this vintage will be offering much pleasure at age 20. “It is drinking beautifully now but in a few years it will have come together even better”, he says. Nabucco 2013 is a good choice to serve with prime cuts of beef and rich sauces, mature cheeses, dark chocolate and even something sweet.
Morgenster Italian Collection Nabucco 2013 was awarded 4½ stars in the 2016 John Platter Guide. Available from the Estate, Morgenster’s online shop http://shop.morgenster.co.za/ or selected retail outlets at RSP around R335.
Morgenster Italian Collection Tosca 2013
This is Bertrand’s seventh wine made in the Super Tuscan style of primarily Sangiovese (76%) blended with noble Bordeaux varieties of Merlot (12%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (12%). As with all Morgenster’s wines, age-ability is a cornerstone, and while Kotzé says it is delicious now, Tosca 2013 will approach perfection in around seven years’ time.
The bright red wine with a youthful purple edge has a nose that is typically Sangiovese, abounding in the glorious array of Sangiovese aromas - deep scented fruit and sweet spices, with herbaceous and meaty notes. The taste reveals soft velvety tannins naturally balanced with acidity and fruit sweetness. The wine’s long lasting sensation pairs well with food, particularly savoury risotto, anything with tomatoes and hard cheeses. Kotzé tips serving it with light lunches and summer fare like Caprese and other salads.
Morgenster Italian Collection Tosca 2013 was awarded 4½ stars in the 2016 John Platter Guide. Available from the Estate, Morgenster’s online shop http://shop.morgenster.co.za/ or selected retail outlets at RSP around R225.