2006 Dieu Donne Vineyards Franschhoek Merlot 84 – 86 Points
Medium clear, bright with ruby dark cherry red, tending towards mahogany by the rim, high plus concentration, high plus viscosity, some sediment and tartaric crystal formation.
Clean, high intensity, young but starting to show maturation character, with gamey notes, tar, primary fruit of prune compote and hints of dried purple lavender, no herbaceous character as with most Cape Merlot, but high octane alcohol a minus and quite overpowering.
Spicy with dark leather note, wet earth, powerful French oak evident and a soupcon of sweet vanillin / nutty / American oak, cedar wood and dried vanilla pod, for sure must be small barrique (225L).
Dry to off dry on texture fruits follows through with concentrated jammy note, new aromas of dried meat, earthy minerality, wood in balance as there is more than sufficient saturated fruit to support, low tannins, low acid, very high alcohol (15 alc/abv)medium burning finish, medium complexity, fat textured.
Very ripe New World style, showcasing very well the warm to hot climate of Franschhoek valley ward, again powerfully built, could this be the way for most Cape Merlot to go to avoid green tannins, harshness and green character, pick ultra ripe??
It’s for sure not a fine food wine to suggest as it will simply crushed any delicate nuances, it’s very much a hippy wine for the extrovert in character
A meal in itself, match with your richest venison stew in the height of winter.
Can handle vigourous decanting, now until 2015