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The Art of being Franc
Morgenster estate is over 300 years old, although the current owners – the Bertrand family – have only owned it since 1992. The founding Bertrand – Giulio – who was originally from Piedmont in Italy – had a goal was to create a little bit of Italy on the Southern tip of Africa. To help him do this, he not only planted Italian cultivars like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and eventually Vermentino, but also imported 17 Italian Olive cultivars, which had them winning olive oil awards for years.
When it comes to their wines, I personally find their Italian cultivar wines to be fascinating and well worth exploring – in fact we’ve featured a bunch of them here at HanDrinksSolo…but when it comes to winning major awards, it is their super classically styled Bordeaux varieties that really shine the brightest. A few months ago we featured their Lourens River Blend merlot-driven bordeaux blend – which is one of the best value bordeaux blends in Stellenbosch, but they also have a Cabernet-fronted Morgenster Reserve Red blend, which – while being a little pricier – really is an exquisite bottle of red wine.
And while these guys love the classics, and punt Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the cultivar that excited me the most when I was working through their range was the Cabernet Franc.
And I wasn’t alone, because the then-winemaker – Yolande van Staden – could also not stop gushing about this cultivar and how it just kept setting itself apart as the standout cultivar on the farm!
Now, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won’t be able to make your own mind up about the potential of the cultivar in this unofficial Stellenbosch ward, but I have at least left my tasting notes and some technical specs, to convince you to track down the wine at a later date.
👃🏼 The vanguard carries pungent leafy lavender, roasted bell pepper, tilled earth, sweet tobacco, blueberry, red cherry, cranberry.
👄 A superb mix of red berry fruit and more savoury tobacco elements, and then riper deeper elements of blackcurrant and blueberry. Hints of strawberry sweetness, and lovely chalky tannins.
🔬 Wine of Origin Stellenbosch (more specifically from the Helderburg). 100% Cabernet Franc. 100% Estate fruit. handpicked, destemmed, crushed, inoculated, aged in French oak for 12 months.