The most Italian of Morgensters Italian Collection wines to date: Caruso 2013, Tosca 2011 and Nabucco 2011

Friday, 1 November, 2013
When the latest three wines from his Italian Collection were poured for him for the first time, Giulio Bertrand, the Italian owner of Morgenster said: “This looks like an Italian Nebbiolo”.

From that comment, based purely on the colour of Nabucco 2011, Bertrand's excitement grew about the new direction being taken in the making of his Italian styled wines.

Nabucco 2011 is made from Nebbiolo vines which he had imported from the hills around his home in Piedmont. It is in a lighter, less extracted style than the 2010 vintage, and delivers those uniquely delicious Nebbiolo flavours which entice winemakers outside of northern Italy to take on the famously finicky and meagre bearing cultivar. There is a mere handful of Nebbiolo producers in South Africa and Bertrand believes that his latest release is the best from South Africa yet. 

The 2011 Italian cultivar vintage on Morgenster marked a departure from earlier ones as it was informed by two visits paid to Piedmont and Tuscany by Bertrand and winemaker Henry Kotzé. As Kotzé says, the Italian winemakers opened his eyes to what Sangiovese and Nebbiolo could be and enabled him to react with the grape varieties to get the best from them. Happily the 2011 harvest period cooperated and enabled “the grapes to be what they are naturally”, adding value to the styles he wanted to achieve.

This is the fifth release from Morgenster's Italian Collection and covers:

Nabucco 2011. Made of 100% Nebbiolo, the wine has great depth and complexity. The colour is a concentrated, bright pomegranate red. On the nose there are sweet red and black cherries with rose petal notes and hints of ripe tomato and cinnamon spice, followed by suggestions of teas and herbs, mint and lilac. In the mouth there is a superb balance between sweet spice and sweet fruit and a cherry-cranberry type tanginess, making for a very thought provoking palate. While this is a complete wine with heaps of elegance and essence, there is great underlying power to the cultivar. This refined, deeply nuanced wine will need a few years to come together and will still offer much pleasure at age 20. R290 incl ex cellar

Tosca 2011. Crafted in the Super Tuscan style it is made from 60% Sangiovese and 20% each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tosca is bright plum red with a lovely youthful appearance. It offers the nose fresh cranberries, flowery perfume, roasted tomatoes and the wooded aromas of cigar box with English toffee, caramel and sweet cinnamon spice. There is typical Sangiovese warmth and elegance in the mouth, with powdery tannins that will ensure that this wine will be gorgeous in years to come. It is worth giving it time to mature in the bottle. R199 incl ex cellar.

Caruso 2013. Each of the four preceding vintages of Morgenster’s Rosé made from 100% Sangiovese has been a runaway success. The bright pomegranate red colour introduces a wine which is the most complex to date, with a lot more sweet fruit in spite of it being a little drier than earlier vintages. On the nose there is an introduction of sweet guava, red and black cherries, rose and lilac notes and hints of ripe tomato and rooibos tea. The palate is balanced, rich and elegant, with a freshness of berries and cranberry type tanginess, and having a soft velvety feel with enough focus and length. R78.00 incl ex cellar

Bertrand’s objective is to make great Italian wines from great Italian varieties within the context of the South African climate and soil. The limited production of his Italian Collection wines, named for his love of opera, ensures that they can only be enjoyed by the local market.