Stellenbosch, £11.99, cork seal My brother and I were so impressed with the BinTwo winebar at Padstow that we bought this on the recommendation of the owner. I’m certainly no expert on South African wine and I’d never heard of Quoin Rock Winery, but for those interested their website is awash with useful information. The winery and vineyards are located on south facing slopes of Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch region were granite and clay soils along with hot, windy conditions prevail. The fact it’s packaged in such a massive heavy bottle makes me question the winery’s claim that they are “critically aware of the sensitivity of the environment”.
This is dark cherry red in colour and smells good; there’re aromas of green plums, bacon fat and oaky spice; think cinnamon and star anise. Complex and elegant the palate also has a big delicious factor. There are flavours of dark fruit, milk chocolate, brambles, coffee and cinnamon. Dry, smooth and long the silky tannins here have integrated beautifully. While it’s obviously oak influenced, it still oozes class, complexity and elegance; Quoin Rock Merlot 2002 is a lovely wine that’s probably drinking close to its peak now. I really don’t try enough South African wine or enough Merlot.
Visit winery website.