Ridgeback Wines  Ridgeback Wines

Ridgeback Merlot 2015

Bottle Analysis

Winemaker: Toit Wessels
Main Variety: Merlot
Alcohol: 14.5% vol
pH: 3.63
RS: 2.8 g/l
Total Acid: 5.6 g/l
Extract: 32.4 g/l
TSO2: 80 mg/l
Bottled:  4 August 2016
Release Date: August 2017
Bottles: 17 767 bottles
Origin: Paarl
Cellaring: 10+ years
IPW: Yes


Type: Red
Style: Dry
Taste: Classic

Tasting Notes

Intense aromatics of dark plum, mulberry and liquorice with a hint of mint. A generously juicy midpalate is well cradled by ripe tannin and lingering pepper wood spice on the long finish.

Food Pairing

The bold structure of this Merlot ensures versatility and would pair well with a wide range of game, especially ostrich.

Blend Information

100% Merlot


The North- South facing vineyards used for this wine are grown in deep Oakleaf soils and are vertically shoot positioned. The Merlot clone is MO343 grafted onto Paulsen rootstock. Irrigation is monitored and scheduled according to soil moisture availability. Early leaf plucking in the bunch zone and a narrow canopy enables sufficient sunlight penetration into the canopy ensuring ripe tannins and optimal flavour at harvest.


Grapes were handpicked on 30 and 31 January 2015

Bunches were healthy and harvested at optimal berry and seed ripeness.


Sugar   24.9° – 25.2° Balling
Acid  5.55 g/l
pH  3.65


  • The bunches were destemmed onto the sorting table ensuring the removal of all stalks and retaining a whole berry component of 30% in the fermenter.
  • The mash was then cold soaked overnight at 12 degrees Celsius.
  • Fermentation was done in open stainless steel fermenters at 24-28 degrees Celsius using a commercial yeast strain specifically suited to the cultivar.
  • Pumpovers were done 3-4 times daily to extract flavour and tannins for structure. The wine also received a rack and return.
  • The mash was pressed immediately after primary fermentation was completed to avoid harsh tannin extraction.
  • The wine was gravity fed to 225l barrels after secondary or Malo-lactic fermentation.
  • Maturation in 28% new, 52% second fill and 23% third fill French oak barrels lasted for 18 months and the wine was then lightly filtered prior to bottling.
Ridgeback Wines  Ridgeback Wines