Platter Guide 2011: 4½ stars
The Wine Advocate 2011: 89 points
Colour: Opaque centre with lighter brick red edges, young and vibrant red.
Nose: Starts out more herbaceous with lavender and thyme in the lead. Cabernet franc much more predominant with some whiffs of coffee. Then comes the cassis, raspberry and perfumey rose petals.
Palate: Elegant and accessible entry, fullness is a given. A seamlessly put together palate. Beautiful balance of fruit, wood and acidity.
53% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot
This blend is typically South African: friendly, inviting and accessible. Given the nature of South Africans, they like anything over a fire. So my ideal would be to pair it with roasted lamb cutlets and greens, or a lemon and herb chicken with mielie pap and smoor.
In The Vineyard
This is the first time that Morgenster has released its classic Bordeaux style blends in the third year after harvest. Previously the Estate released its wines in the fourth year. However winemaker Henry Kotze points out that wine changes quite a bit from year three to year four, and releasing a year earlier offers the chance to savour the early vibrancy of the fruit in wines which have been crafted to be enjoyed for 20 years and beyond. This approach also showcases what Morgenster is achieving within the Schaapenberg microclimate.
Following good winter rains, cooler temperatures delayed bud break and harvest. As a result the wines produced great depth of fruit and elegant structures.
The 2008 vintage will be remembered for elegant wines with silky fine tannins and classical fruit. This is a tribute to both viticulturist and winemaker who had to call on all their skill and experience to deal with a series of challenges from Mother Nature at harvest. Rigorous sorting and late nights ensured that only the best grapes reached the cellar.
Region: Helderberg ward
In The Cellar
18 months in new and older French oak barrels