Stellekaya Eclipse Collection Merlot 2007

Presenting a wine tasting for a group of architects last Wednesday proved a lot of fun especially as the theme for the evening revolved around the Lunar Eclipse! “Bring some interesting wines which we haven’t tasted before as well as something to celebrate the eclipse” was the brief. Six wines in all with a Viognier from Arra, a Grenache Blanc from Signal Hill, the unusual red blend from Nativo in the line up as well as one “lunar” wine. Not many local wineries have a Lunar twist to the label but my choice for the evening, the Stellekaya Eclipse Collection Merlot 2007, proved a good one as it was voted the best wine of the evening (the wines were tasted blind)!

Stellekaya Winery at Bosmans Crossing in Stellenbosch has a fascinating winemaker, Ntiski Biyela. This dynamic young lady, who hails from Kwa-Zulu Natal, never imagined that one day she would be in the Cape making top notch wine and in 2009 being voted as Women Winemaker of the Year. Her passion for red wine is evident in that out of the eight or so wines made at this cellar only one is a white, a Chenin Blanc.

Although Stellekaya have their own vineyards which will soon come into production, Ntiski sources her grapes from selected farms in the Stellenbosch region. Her philosophy is to make wines that are “full, ripe and soft “ so that the consumer can appreciate her wines either with food or just on its own. In the cellar she uses a wooden basket press for all her grapes and later the red wines are matured in French Oak barrels.

The Stellekaya Eclipse Collection Merlot 2007 displays a velvety dark plum colour with gorgeous aromas of blueberry, violets and spicy plum. The rich full bodied palate offers ripe plum and mulberry flavours with structured tannins rounding off the finish. Delicious now but no harm in cellaring a few bottles for another 4 years! We savoured the wine with beef Carpaccio sprinkled with parmesan and served with rocket!

Expect to pay: R88.50

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