Vinification & Winemaker’s comments
Grapes for the Porcupine Ridge Merlot are sourced from the Helderberg area and surrounding Stellenbosch vineyards. Vineyard parcels with balanced yields and very specific soils (mainly decomposed “koffieklipˮ) were selected to accentuate the red fruit character, which we strive for in this wine. The 2018 vintage had its challenges due to the ongoing drought but offered healthy grapes, with phenolic ripeness easily being achieved. A cold soak for two days, prior to controlled fermentation in stainless steel, ensured good extraction and colour stability. We specifically chose yeast strains to further enhance the red berry character of the wine and opted for gentle practices to ensure a beautiful, round mouthfeel. With Merlot, tannin management is always important, and we chose to focus on the fruit rather than extraction from oak.
The nose is opulent and entices with its dark and red berry fruit profile, showing black cherry, redcurrant, ripe plum and fruitcake aromas with whiffs of marzipan, baking spices, cloves and cured meat. The rich berry nose follows through onto vibrant, lithe and exceptionally smooth mid-palate with hints of blueberry, dried herbs and potting soil. This balanced wine is medium-bodied, smooth and svelte with very fine cocoa powdery tannins. Dark chocolate and hints of white pepper and nutmeg linger on a classic mocha finish.
The Crested porcupines are widely represented in Southern Africa. They are covered in spines and quills which when raised present a formidable fence of sharp spikes. They are noisy animals and move with a ponderous gait accompanied by much snuffling and grunting. A diet of potatoes, pumpking and root vegetables tend to make them a problem in farming areas. They are, however, nocturnal and shy and the families that reside at Boekenhoutskloof are very welcome.