LAIBACH RESERVE Claypot Merlot 2015

VARIETAL 100 % Merlot
ALCOHOL 14.0 % vol.
pH 3.58

The Claypot Organic Merlot 2015 is not only our pride and joy but also consistently one of the top three Merlot wines in South–Africa. This vintage follow on our Platter 5 star 2014 wine and is actually even better than some of the previous vintages. The first Claypot Merlot was the two barrel 600 bottle 2005 wine, we exclusively made for Hakkasan restaurant in London. We have not skipped a vintage although the 2007 bottling was very small only being six barrels. The wine is named after the deep, rich clay soils that we have on the Laibach estate. Like all wine geeks you know that the best Merlots in the world are grown on Clay soils and therefore our “terroir” is ideal for this. The 2017 vintage will also be fermented and aged in special Italian made Claypots to add to the uniqueness and our keen love of doing things like in the good old days.

The wine is made from two vineyards on the farm. Block 16 is an old block and we use some of the least vigorous spots that we carefully mark and harvest by hand separately. The farm is organically farmed and certified since about 10 years. The other block is a younger block which adds fruit and colour to the final wine. We do a lot of sorting after destemming, but before crushing. We do everything by hand and can only run at around two tons per hour. Cold soak is practice for some tanks and in general we do everything with natural yeast. A bit of sulfur is added at the crusher and again at bottling but no other additives, fining agents etc. is used in our winemaking. Some parts are open fermented with manual, traditional punch downs favoured for extraction. The grapes spend up to 35 days in total on the skins before pressing. Malolactic is done in tank and the wine is filled into 100% new Francois Freres and Seguin Moreau barrels for a 16 months ageing. The best barrels are tasted and blended to make the final wine. In some years a bit of Cab Franc might be added to enhance the aromatics.

Deep dark colour. Fantastic nose with wild spices, blackberry and sour cherries evident. Hint of bitter chocolate and still quite a bit of wood evident. On the palate some violets, white chocolate and lovely elegant tannins. Beautiful balance with enough juicy tannins and structure to last 6–10 years after the vintage.