With the ongoing drive towards premiumisation of wine, it becomes harder and harder to find great value, authentic, high quality, unadulterated wine expressions. So the market almost relies indirectly on the “philanthropy” of people and producers like Schalk Burger Snr.
With expansive old vine vineyards, the Welbedacht Estate has been the envy of the Cape wine scene for not only growing a plethora of diverse grape varieties but also by being able to produce good volumes of high quality premium wine. The Meerkat Pinotage is already a legendary wine having featured on the Nederburg Auction in the past. But I was impressed to hear that the Meerkat Burrow Blend has now become one of their biggest selling wines in the range. But I guess wine consumers know a good thing when they taste it!
Schalk Burger & Sons Meerkat Burrow Blend 2016, WO Wellington, 13.5 Abv.
A gregarious red blend made up of mostly Pinotage and Merlot but which also includes up to 7 varieties from the Welbedacht Estate on the Groenberg in the final blend. This “value” red is a triumph of intelligent winemaking displaying an impressive vibrancy and fragrant lift with a delicious mouth watering bouquet of damson plums, mulberries, bramble berries and earthy red currants all topped with a generous dusting of mocha powder and vanilla pod spice. The texture is silky soft, beautifully weighted, generously fruited without being sweet or unctuous but always attractively fleshy and alluring. The opulent Pinotage blueberry notes are chaperoned by the plummy, milk chocolate spice of the Merlot allowing the wine to finish with an attractive accessibility and more’ish crunch. Who would have thought this could be an improvement on the delicious 2015!? Drink now to 2022+
(Wine Safari Score: 89/100 Greg Sherwood MW)