The ultra-premium, Misterie 2015, has set a new benchmark for SA wines with a R2,000 price tag; making it the most expensive merlot on shelves.
Some 3,600 bottles were matured in French oak barrels for 26 months under the careful eye of Jasper Raats, cellar master at Longridge Wine estate, near Stellenbosch.
In 2013, Raats realised that a block of grapes was thriving in a micro climate, unique to the area, at the foot of the Helderberg mountain range near Stellenbosch. The grapes were meticulously cared for, by hand, and were organically grown without any pesticides, herbicides or chemical sprays.
According to Longridge, the vintage has a "savoury nose" with "ripe, soft tannins", complemented by aromas of plump dark, red fruit and ripe strawberries with a hint of dark chocolate and cocoa.
It scored a 93/100 in the 2017 wine report by the British Master of Wine Tim Atkin. The wine also was a favourite in a blind taste testing with some of the most exclusive wines in the world, says Longridge. It beat the likes of Chateau La Fleur-Petrus (R4,000) as well as the 2013 Masetto (R9,000) from Tuscany, Italy.