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Circumstance Merlot

Founded by Paul Boutinot in 2004, Waterkloof is a family-owned, organic, biodynamic and WWF Biodiversity Champion farm perched high up on the windswept Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay and The Atlantic Ocean. Living soils, naturally low yields and a long growing season help provide talented young Cellarmaster Nadia Barnard with naturally balanced grapes that are imbued with a truly defining sense of origin. Those grapes are then transformed into wine with a minimum of intervention. The resulting wines are fine, inimitable and best enjoyed with food.

Vineyards

Living soils and a natural approach to winemaking means that each of the single-varietal wines in the Circumstance range is truly defined by the circumstances influencing the chosen varietal and vineyard blocks, including: soil, aspect, altitude and vintage. The Merlot is from two adjoining, windswept, south-facing (less sun exposure) blocks 240-60m above and a mere 2 miles from The Atlantic. These factors combine to produce low yields, balanced grapes and wines with a true sense of place.

Vinification

Production was a miserly 5 tons per hectare. Hand picked grapes were destemmed, hand sorted and placed into our open-top wooden fermenters via gravity. Natural fermentation started spontaneously by utilising the wild yeasts present on the fruit. Punch downs (twice a day) were used during fermentation to ensure a soft and slow, colour and tannin extraction. The wine spent 30 days on the skins to help integrate the tannins and stabilise the colour. The skins were separated from the juice through a gentle basket pressing. The wine went through malolactic fermentation in barrel and was then aged in new (15%), second and third fill (85%) French barrels for 18 months. The wine was aged for another year in wooden fermenters to ensure a wine with silky soft tannins. The wine received no fining, which allowed the grape to be purely expressed in the wine. Only sulphur was added and no other additions, such as tartaric acid or enzymes were allowed.

Tasting Notes

A fine wine with persistence, complexity and great purity - dense black cassis and bramble fruit aromas combined with plums, spice and a creamy oak on the palate. Showing real character and personality, supreme poise and balance, Waterkloof's ability to express their unique terroir improves with each vintage.

Great with garlic roast lamb, or venison roasted with root vegetables.

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