Over the years I have made many visits to Muratie mostly to take part in trail runs, or to walk their scenic trails. On each visit, I saw something I hadn’t seen before. But two things are consistent, the palpable sense of history and the warmth of the Melck hospitality.
In my early January post on Muratie (6 January), I mentioned that I would be tasting a couple of their wines, and I just have…
They were the Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2017 and the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 like most everything at Muratie they too have a sense of history and a story.
The Melcks and winemaker Hattingh de Villiers have combined to make wines that manage to capture the Muratie history in each bottle,
Shiraz man that I am, I tasted the Muratie Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2017 first (what else!)
“As a direct descendant of Martin Melck (who owned Muratie from 1763 to 1781), Ronnie rekindled a centuries-old love affair and fulfilled a lifelong dream when he bought this gracious old wine farm in 1987, welcoming it back into the Melck fold. Humble, honest and full of integrity, he lived for Muratie and is the only owner whose remains rest here, under the trees on the highest part of the farm.”
The Ronnie Melck Shiraz had everything I look for spiciness, black pepper, dark stone fruit and berries. A thinking wine that offers so much that it really requires slow sipping and savouring. Good things should not be rushed, a bottle of the Ronnie Melck and I spent time together until my wine-ometer said enough wine for the moment…. I continued the next day, until there was no more!
A really lovely Shiraz and a steal at R190 a bottle
Then I tried the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. “Martin Melck owned Muratie from 1763 to 1781. A mercenary from Prussia who acquired immense wealth at the Cape, primarily through marriage, he was also a devout Lutheran who felt so aggrieved that members of his faith were forbidden to form a congregation that he built a ‘schuilkerk’ (hidden church) alongside his own home in Cape Town. His greatest hope was that Lutherans would one day be able to worship openly–and indeed this came to pass one year before his death. His greatest love, though, was for his daughter, Anna Catherina, for whom he bought Muratie.”
I hesitated before opening this Cab, its reputation suggested keeping for a while, but I did not have that luxury, it needed tasting now so “off with your cork Mr Melck!”
I found it interesting that the Cabernet Sauvignon was only kept in 10% new oak and that the grapes were sourced from three different blocks. The wine brooded with dark berries and stone fruit and spiciness. It demanded slow sipping and contemplation, certainly not a wine with which to ‘down the hatch’ and yes it drank superbly and yes, I am sure keeping it for a few years would have delivered even greater pleasure.
It is modestly priced at about R200 a bottle.
Two really lovely wines paired with two slices of Muratie history and there are more stories and more wines to discover – the wine trail lies ahead…