“I am NOT drinking any f*n’ Merlot!”
The famous war cry from Paul Giamatti’s character in the Oscar winning wine centric film Sideways led to consumers shunning the cultivar in their droves given their trust in Miles Raymond and his Pinot Noir praising rhetoric.
Yet the cult movie didn’t quite capture the original context intended in the novel which explains that Miles’ aversion to the varietal that dominates right bank Bordeaux wines, sometimes exclusively, is borne from the love for it that his ex-wife had. As the film very clearly shows Miles mid-spiral following the break up of his marriage this makes a lot more sense than a wine lover painting a single grape with a universal dismissal using the widest brush he could find.
The very finest examples of Merlot from Pomerol and Saint Emilion can command hundreds, if not thousands, per bottle whilst the worst are popular shelf fillers at petrol stations available for almost impossibly low prices.
We’re not offering either of those today. Instead we’re celebrating two of our favourites from South Africa, both 100% Merlot and 100% delicious.
Uva Mira’s Merlot exhibits lashings of luscious black plum and mulberry fruit complemented by licorice, cocoa and a hint of vanilla. Testament to winemaker Christiaan Coetzee’s skill at making single cultivar wines.
Haut Espoir’s example from their Franschhoek farm was made instead of their merlot driven blend Gentle Giant (our best selling red) as the quality of the 2015 harvest was so good they wanted to showcase it on its own. A completely different beast to the approachable style of the Uva Mira, this is brooding and serious with swathes of prune, fig, marinated black cherries, lavender and black olive tapenade underpinned be a graphite minerality.
Both are on offer with a 20% discount for this weekend only, available by the bottle, box or bootload. Just click below to view the wines.