The success story of Longridge Merlot

Thursday, 18 October, 2012
Longridge Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch has taken another step on their journey to become one of the top Merlot producers in the country. At the prestigious 2012 Veritas Awards the Longridge Merlot 2008 received a coveted gold medal.
Earlier this year, this Longridge Merlot was also the only Merlot to be included in the Top 100 SA Wines selection. According to cellar master Jasper Raats, these accolades are proof that this fickle variety needs the right terroir and lots of attention. “The coolness of the slopes of the Helderberg, where we are located, is perfect for producing top quality Merlot. The iron-rich clay sub soils echo that of Pomerol, where arguably the world’s greatest merlots are grown. In my opinion, a lot needs to be said for growing Merlot in a cooler climate. For proof, you just have to look at the success of other cool climate Merlot producers like Shannon (Elgin), Steenberg (Constantia) and Hillcrest (Durbanville) . A gold Veritas coming hot on the heels of the Merlot’s inclusion in the Top 100 SA Wines listing is definitely an indication of the quality of this wine. We would like to establish Longridge as one of the top Merlot producers in the country in the long-term and critical acclaim such as this will undoubtedly identify us as serious contenders,” mentions Raats.

The success of the 2008 Merlot follows consistently good performances by previous vintages with the 2007 receiving a double gold at Veritas. This is the fourth time that a Longridge Merlot has been awarded with either a gold or double gold Veritas award. Longridge Merlots have also regularly scored a four-star rating in the Platter Guide and can boast a Michelangelo Double Gold as well as a Trophy for Best Merlot at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Longridge Merlot is crafted from grapes in vineyards rooted in deep, fine granite Tukulu soils on the slopes of the Helderberg, which receive refreshingly cool winds during the day from the Atlantic Ocean and cool breezes rolling down the mountain at night. This results in even ripening of the berries for a sublimely balanced wine. Blackberry and blueberry fruits are dominant on the nose and follow through onto the palate and couple with fine grained tannins in mid palate with a hypnotic finish.
Longridge Merlot
Longridge Merlot

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