Whether strutting its very own berry personality when vertically paired with Creation’s famous Gorgonzola and Cauliflower Soup, or snuggling up cosily to a creamy-dreamy Creation Resonance Dark Chocolate Baton – Merlot adds that very special zing to the menu. October is International Merlot Month and in the Creation Tasting Room the focus is on the amazing pairing potential of this wine, says Creation pairing guru Carolyn Martin, adding that the estate has not only one, but two award-winning Merlots to celebrate.
The Creation (Estate) Merlot entices with a bounty of fruit and spicy aromas. On the palate rewarding dark chocolate and mocha combine with generous ripe berry flavours, supported by the firm structure derived from judicious oak maturation. Among the most recent accolades for the 2017 vintage is a score of 90/100 and being placed among the top 12 wines in the 2019 Merlot Report convened by Winemag.co.za. According to Carolyn gorgonzola is the perfect cheese to serve with the Creation Merlot – creamy enough not to clash with the tannins with the salty tang elevating the fruity notes in the wine.
The Creation Reserve Merlot is remarkably complex, offering a royal feast of berries and nuts complemented by whiffs of cigar box, cedar and clove. It is velvety smooth and berry-rich on the lingering palate where the exciting layers range from dried goji berry to hints of graphite and warm wood spice. The wine is a perfect partner for the Cacciatore Salami course on the popular Creation Charcuterie Pairing Menu. The spicy salami is well matched by the vibrancy of the wine while the wild rosemary and thyme serve to soften and plump out the tannins in the wine, complementing the freshness.
Merlot, one of the world’s most challenging cultivars to grow, thrives at Creation, says viticulturist and cellarmaster Jean-Claude (JC) Martin. The close proximity to the cold Atlantic Ocean, the elevation of 290 m above sea level as well as the 450-million-year-old Bokkeveld shale and drained clay loam soils are all factors contributing to the excellent quality of the grapes.
“Merlot needs to be picked at optimal physiological ripeness and responds well to extended oak maturation which helps to develop the tannin structure of the wine,” explains JC. At Creation the two single varietal Merlots spend between 14 and 18 months in a combination of new and 2nd fill French oak barrels. The results as pointed out earlier are two exceptionally food-friendly wines well set to enhance a wide variety of dishes.
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