Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate in Somerset West, 35 minutes from Cape Town, is at the gateway to the Western Cape wine-growing region. It is a thriving olive and wine farm dating back to 1711, producing internationally acclaimed Bordeaux-style wines and extra virgin olive oil of astounding quality.
The Morning Star within a scallop shell as depicted on the front gable of Morgenster’s beautiful manor house, the private home of owner Giulio Bertrand, is the Estate’s signature and features on the labels of its fine wines and olive products.
Visitors to the Estate’s stylish Revel Fox designed tasting room,which is set against the Schaapenberg and overlooks a reed lined dam and the Helderberg, can enjoy a wine tasting experience unique in South Africa. The Estate’s philosophy is to release its red Bordeaux-style blends only when they have developed and aged to potential and the cellar, therefore, houses highly awarded earlier vintages under its Morgenster and Lourens River Valley labels. Visitors can also enjoy Giulio Bertrand’s three Italian Collection wines from his small Sangiovese and Nebbiolo vineyards and be guided through an olive oil tasting of intriguing complexity.
In 1992 Giulio Bertrand retired to South Africa from Italy and bought the historic farm Morgenster, which dates back to 1711. Retirement, however, was to elude him because he became enthused with the potential of the terroir. Never one to set small goals, he determined to plant vines to produce wines that would rival the best of France.
Under Bertrand’s inspiration and energy, Morgenster produces two internationally acclaimed Bordeaux-style red blends, one label being the flagship Morgenster and the other Lourens River Valley.
Four Bordeaux cultivars are grown on the Estate: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Estate’s wine consultant is Pierre Lurton, Managing Director of Château Cheval Blanc, a name synonymous with Bordeaux blends. Lurton and his winemaking team work with resident winemaker Henry Kotzé and viticulturist Corius Visser in implementing the Estate’s philosophy of letting the vintage determine the blend, and of making wines which are a true reflection of the Schaapenberg terroir.
Morgenster wines are crafted to age well and many vintages can be enjoyed for 20 years and beyond. Bertrand releases only a portion of each vintage at launch date and keeps the balance in pristine condition in his cellar to be evaluated at six monthly intervals. He then releases the vintages in batches that showcase their progression, providing an unusual offering to private and trade consumers of several vintages of the same label.
The Bordeaux blends of Morgenster are receiving consistent international and local recognition, both at launch date in their youth and for earlier vintages which confirm that they are ageing wonderfully.
Morgenster Reserve 2012
Nose: Terrific intensity! Gorgeous perfume, enticing with each whiff. Plum, red and blackberry richness, almonds and coffee with toffee and classical pencil shavings, cigar box and cassis.
Palate: Mouth-filling elegance has sweeter, dark berry fruit engulfed in mouth caressing tannins. A fine balance of acidity over minerality contributes to harnessing the fruit’s youthfulness.
Morgenster Reserve 2003
Nose: Sexy aromas of dark berries, cassis and kirsch, hints of chocolate and mocha.
Palate: The palate impression offers ripe fruit, bedded in finely knitted ripe tannins. All these combine to assail the palate with a level of density, structure and viscosity to offer an outstanding mouthfeel. A liquid velvet texture is transformed by a rocky, minerally element. A complete wine with a classic elegance and excellent finish.
Morgenster White 2014
Morgenster White is made in a classic Bordeaux style to complement what people expect from a Morgenster red blend: elegance with concentration,complexity and longevity.
This graceful Bordeaux white offers bright, fresh aromas and flavours of apricot, pineapple and litchi, with subtle hints of quince, citrus and caramel. It balances ripe fruit and perfectly integrated oak with a mouthwatering minerality. Fresh acidity gives it great staying power and adds a well-crafted focus and length.
Morgenster Caruso 2016