(2013) >From Paardeberg and Bottelary and 15- to 20-year-old vineyards cooled by sea breezes. Fermented in open 300 and 500 litre barrels, 30% new, then aged in same barrels for 15 months. Co-fermented with 3% Viognier skins. Very nice nose, lots of supple, chocolate, with the plush suppleness of spice and delicious fruit richness and such sweet fruit playing against the tang and life of the acidity and fine tannins. Lovely.
(2008) With a price tag and its a heavy, broad-shouldered bottle, Rickety Bridge's Merlot is clearly pitched as a fairly serious wine. It spent 24 months in French oak barrels, of which 25% was new. It has an attractively cedary nose, with a deep pool of blackcurrant fruit, and just a hint of briary undergrowth. There is possibly just a touch of Brettanomyces evident in these reds I think, but not at troublesome levels. In the mouth the fruit is very plush, ripe and forward, filling the mouth with creamy-textured and deep plum and blackcurrant flavours, set against a slightly harsh background of grippy tannin, slightly raw oak, and alcohol that is a touch hot just unbalancing the wine slightly. It is juicy enough and quite tangy, and its European styling suggests this again needs food to show at its best.
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