While not an example of classic Merlot flavors and textures, South Africa is proving yet again that it can turn out unique and truly exciting versions of Old World varietals. The wines are darker and haunting with a savory and dark earth profile. Did I mention that they are also amazing values? The more I taste from South Africa, the more I want to taste. Merlot appears to be yet another variety with which they can excel.
When tasting my first South African Merlot, I knew exactly what I wanted to pair with it, lamb. I paired this with a Moroccan Lamb Stew. The gamey flavors of the lamb were a perfect complement to this wine’s dark and savory profile. What’s more, the smooth and spicy characteristics of this dish excited the palate and added even more depth to the already layered Tokolosh. I can’t say this dish would go well with any Merlot, but it was the perfect combination for this beauty from South Africa. I highly recommend trying it.
2011 Tokolosh Merlot – The nose was dark and savory, showing tart raspberry, charred meat, coffee beans and herbs. On the palate, it was medium-bodied and juicy with sweet red and black berries, cinnamon and exotic spice. Tart berry fruits lingered on the lip-smacking finish that stayed fresh and easy-going through the close. (89 points)
Oh yeah, this was even better on the second day.