How to savour Merlot this International Merlot Day

Luscious, velvety, approachable, little wonder Merlot has an entire day dedicated its many merits. International Merlot Day takes place annually on 7 November, inviting relaxed wine lovers and serious oenophiles alike to take the time to relish this big Bordeaux varietal. Of course, dedicated Merlot lovers will need little encouragement to open a bottle containing their favourite tipple.

For those not yet familiar with Merlot, it is pronounced mehr-low, with a suitably French affectation. But it is difficult to imagine not having heard of this popular grape before, considering that there are more Merlot grapes planted in Bordeaux – and the whole of France – than Cabernet Sauvignon!

Merlot is grown and enjoyed across the wine-drinking world. Some prefer a 100% Merlot wine, but Merlot is beautiful in blends. This is because it has a soft appeal and texture due to the fact that it’s not heavy on tannins.

One wine estate that has perfected Bordeaux-styled blends is De Toren, a small yet powerful estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa, that is known for producing some of the most luxurious wines in the world. Like the ruby-hued De Toren Z, which benefits from ocean-facing vineyards that are high in clay content, making them intensely suited to the planting of Merlot – echoing Bordeaux’s Right Bank approach. All “Noble Five” Bordeaux varietals are featured in the De Toren Z, but Merlot is dominant.

A uniquely South African rendering of the Bordeaux style, produced on a mere 22 hectares situated on Stellenbosch’s Polkadraai Hills, this Merlot-rich red wine has garnered plenty of international attention since its maiden vintage. At Mundus Vini 2012, the international judging panel reviewed 6000 wines, yet awarded the De Toren Z 2010 vintage the coveted Gold.

This year, the reputed UK wine critic Tim Atkin reviewed Z at 93/100 points, while the USA’s respected Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored it at 91/100 points. If you’re intent on celebrating Merlot this International Merlot Day, then why not celebrate it with its very best expression?


De Toren Private Cellar is a boutique winery specialising in luxurious, world-class Bordeaux-style wines and is situated on the Polkadraai Hills, overlooking the picturesque Stellenbosch in the Cape, South Africa. De Toren was one of the first-ever South African wineries to produce Bordeaux-style wines and the very first to ever make use of a gravity-fed cellar. The farm is renowned for meticulous attention to detail when it comes to nurturing its vineyards to grow the perfect berries, and for making wine through the softest and gentlest of processes.

The result of this labour of love is a range of spectacular wines, which have over the years been awarded the honorary titles of South Africa’s Best Bordeaux Blend, South Africa’s Most Luxurious Wine, and The Highest Ever Rated Wines by the reputable USA publisher, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, to name but a few.

In recent years, De Toren was ranked as one of the Top 10 Red Wine Producers in South Africa by the South African Wine Index and was once again nominated as New World Winery of the Year by the reputable USA publisher, Wine Enthusiast Magazine. These international accolades confirm De Toren as not only South Africa’s most highly rated Bordeaux-style wines, but indeed amongst the world’s finest red wines.

Media Release issued by: Scout PR & Social Media

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