LAIBACH RESERVE Claypot Merlot 2014

VARIETAL 100% Merlot
pH 3,50

A new release of our Iconic Claypot Merlot 2014. This wine was first produced in vintage 2005 for a Top end Michelin star London restaurant, Hakkasan. It started out with 2 barrels and will probably peak around 31 barrels per year. The wine is made from 2 selected, special organically farmed blocks on our estate. One block is around 20 years old and the rest is from a new clone, younger block of Merlot. Laibach is very much one of the top Merlot producers in South–Africa since the 2003 vintage. It is our most consistent grape, not only in the vineyards but also with our knowledge in the cellar. If you think Pinot Noir is the heart break grape of the world, you definitely have not tried to make Merlot in South–Africa. The name, Claypot, comes from the unique soils that our vines are growing in, allowing us to farm very naturally and without the use of irrigation. Like you know the best Merlots in the world are grown in deep, clay soils and luckily that is exactly what we have at Laibach. Is there better terroir in South – Africa for Merlot? The attention to detail making Merlot in our cellar is amazing. We pick by hand and we like to start with cold grapes. We do have a very strict sorting regime after crushing, but before destemming doing everything manually at around 1–2 tons/hour. Very labour intensive as well. Two types of fermentation vessels are used. Closed tanks that take around 5 tons and open fermentation tanks that will take around 4 tons. 75% of the wine is fermented naturally without any yeast added. Fermentation temperatures will peak at around 29 degrees. Fermentation will last 5–6 days and time on the skins can exceed 28 days. The malolactic fermentation is done in tank and after sulphuring the wine will be moved to 100% new oak for 12 months. A selection of the best barrels will be blended and allowed to age another 12 months in a very large old barrel for natural fining. Lovely dark red colour. On the nose oodles of fruit with some dark and white chocolate quite evident. Full bodied palate with great structure and depth. On the palate some wild spice and black berries with hints of good expensive French oak toast. A wine with enough structure and complexity to be enjoyed 3–8 years from vintage.

  • John Platter 2017: Five Stars