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Mount Bullet Merlot

Shannon, Mount Bullet Merlot 2015

R400

8 in stock

Notes

'With the vineyards coming of age, perfect vintage conditions and meticulous viticulture, Shannon have shot the lights out with their Mount Bullet Merlot 2015. When visiting the Mount Bullet vineyards last week, I was reminded of the painstaking effort it takes to produce what we believe is SA’s finest Merlot. Backed by multiple awards, many Platter’s 5-star ratings and the recent crowning as SA’s top wine in the Winemag Merlot Report, this is undoubtedly SA’s very best!

Some consider Merlot to be as fickle and difficult as Pinot Noir. With an especially challenging picking window, vintage conditions are more important than ever and play a significant role in the success of the 2015 Mount Bullet which is a near-perfect local Merlot. Crushed herbs mingle with dark seductive aromas and the palate is plush, layered and complex. The coated tannins are gentle and lead on to a fresh, long and fine finish. This is a classy wine and a South African benchmark.' – James Pietersen

Viticulture:
The grapes are picked from a small 3-hectare vineyard. The vineyard is divided up into 5 different parcels each with its own respective clone. The soil, trellising and canopy management is constant through out the vineyard so it is the actual clonal characteristics that determine the different dates of harvest. Over the years we have learnt that there is as much as 11 – 14 days difference between picking the first clone to pick the last clone. The bunches are chilled to 3ºC before being sorted on a conveyor and destemmed. Berries are then hand sorted before cold maceration ensues for 3 to 6 days at 8ºC. We try to naturally ferment 100% of the different parcels of grapes making up the Mount Bullet. Fermentation temperatures vary between 26 – 30ºC. After pressing, the wine is racked and left to complete its malolactic fermentation and maturation in oak barriques. 100% matured in barriques (225L) for approximately 20 months using a blend of 3 Bordeaux cooperages. The oak used is of a tighter grain and medium toasted. New oak – 40%, 2nd fill – 30%, 3rd fill – 20% and 4th fill 10%.

Vinification:
Considerable emphasis is placed on maximising the different clone expressions and therefore each parcel is vinified and matured separately before final blending. The wine has a fragrance of ripe red fruits such as plums and dark cherries, with earthy complexity and yet still expressing minerality. Maintaining a good acidity leads to outstanding freshness with a well-integrated ripe and seductive tannin structure. Incorporating a minimal winemaking intervention approach, such as natural ferment and only two 'punch downs' daily, retains silkiness and elegance.

Tasting notes:
'From a 3ha block planted to five different clones. Matured for 20 months in French oak, 20% new. Black berries, some appealing herbal character, earth and attractive oak on the nose. Extraordinary depth of fruit, lovely freshness and a long, savoury finish. Concentrated without being weighty and supremely well balanced.' – Christian Eedes, Winemag Merlot Report 2018, 92/100

Analysis:
Alc: 14.0% RS: 2.5 g/L TA: 6.6 g/L pH: 3.34

'With the vineyards coming of age, perfect vintage conditions and meticulous viticulture, Shannon have shot the lights out with their Mount Bullet Merlot 2015. When visiting the Mount Bullet vineyards last week, I was reminded of the painstaking effort it takes to produce what we believe is SA’s finest Merlot. Backed by multiple awards, many Platter’s 5-star ratings and the recent crowning as SA’s top wine in the Winemag Merlot Report, this is undoubtedly SA’s very best!

Some consider Merlot to be as fickle and difficult as Pinot Noir. With an especially challenging picking window, vintage conditions are more important than ever and play a significant role in the success of the 2015 Mount Bullet which is a near-perfect local Merlot. Crushed herbs mingle with dark seductive aromas and the palate is plush, layered and complex. The coated tannins are gentle and lead on to a fresh, long and fine finish. This is a classy wine and a South African benchmark.' – James Pietersen

Viticulture:
The grapes are picked from a small 3-hectare vineyard. The vineyard is divided up into 5 different parcels each with its own respective clone. The soil, trellising and canopy management is constant through out the vineyard so it is the actual clonal characteristics that determine the different dates of harvest. Over the years we have learnt that there is as much as 11 – 14 days difference between picking the first clone to pick the last clone. The bunches are chilled to 3ºC before being sorted on a conveyor and destemmed. Berries are then hand sorted before cold maceration ensues for 3 to 6 days at 8ºC. We try to naturally ferment 100% of the different parcels of grapes making up the Mount Bullet. Fermentation temperatures vary between 26 – 30ºC. After pressing, the wine is racked and left to complete its malolactic fermentation and maturation in oak barriques. 100% matured in barriques (225L) for approximately 20 months using a blend of 3 Bordeaux cooperages. The oak used is of a tighter grain and medium toasted. New oak – 40%, 2nd fill – 30%, 3rd fill – 20% and 4th fill 10%.

Vinification:
Considerable emphasis is placed on maximising the different clone expressions and therefore each parcel is vinified and matured separately before final blending. The wine has a fragrance of ripe red fruits such as plums and dark cherries, with earthy complexity and yet still expressing minerality. Maintaining a good acidity leads to outstanding freshness with a well-integrated ripe and seductive tannin structure. Incorporating a minimal winemaking intervention approach, such as natural ferment and only two 'punch downs' daily, retains silkiness and elegance.

Tasting notes:
'From a 3ha block planted to five different clones. Matured for 20 months in French oak, 20% new. Black berries, some appealing herbal character, earth and attractive oak on the nose. Extraordinary depth of fruit, lovely freshness and a long, savoury finish. Concentrated without being weighty and supremely well balanced.' – Christian Eedes, Winemag Merlot Report 2018, 92/100

Analysis:
Alc: 14.0% RS: 2.5 g/L TA: 6.6 g/L pH: 3.34

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CE 92

Country

ZA

Region

Elgin

Style

Red

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