More-ish Wines at Môreson
Experience 4.0 Franschhoek Wine 4.0

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Friday 26 January 2018

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

I had special reason to visit Franschhoek. I had waited 7 months until veraison to take reference cultivar photos of the rows of exemplar grapes at La Motte. I had previously tasted and reviewed the La Motte wines, and also attended their specialist Shiraz tasting, so it made sense to visit a different vineyard. Môreson was that vineyard. The entrance was directly opposite at La Motte so all I had to do was cross the aptly-named Happy Valley Road, just a few kilometres North-West of Franschhoek city centre.



Môreson was another of those well known wine estates whose wines I feel I ought to have tasted and know. I am sure I have sampled 1 or 2 of their wines at the Franschhoek or other Wine Festival but I needed to come to the vineyard to taste. My excitement got the better of me as the drive over multiple speed bumps to the entrance and shady car park seemed to take forever, even if barely 1½ kilometres. A leafy path led me through an arched pergola, past the orchid greenhouses and nursery of the Exotic Plant Company (due to re-open in March 2018), and bright blue Agapanthus flowers like exploding fireworks, to the Cellar and the Bread & Wine Restaurant.



The buildings were traditional white-washed with dark olive green painted sash windows and doors. There was a relaxed feel outside, with small circular tables set in the dappled shade for wine tasters and drinkers. The Tasting Room was surprisingly bare and small but well decorated. I already sensed a place with a difference and a personal stamp of identity. Entrance and other signs showed a sense of caring, fun and quirky humour.



MJ and then Piet hosted my tasting. The tasting selection (R50 for 5 wines) included wines from the Franschhoek Appellation Range and the Stellenbosch Heritage Range. These were the premium and flagship wines. The Miss Molly Lifestyle Range, so named after the Môreson Weimaraner, was not listed. Piet explained that Môreson is renowned for its Chardonnay (one block had already been picked for MCC) which only made choosing 5 wines even harder. I was fortunate that as the tasting progressed I was able to taste more wines, including many that were not for tasting. More of that later. 



The tasting started with the Blanc de Blancs, the first of 4 Chardonnay. This was a NV wine and simple in character and style. The flavours of fruity apple and vanilla were limited, with little yeasty taste due to just 18 months spent on the lees, and short in length. It was nonetheless very drinkable, being moderately dry, and having a good moussante feel.


I scored the unwooded Dr Reason Why, harvested from a single block and made in cement eggs (60%) and amphorae (30%), the same. Served in a balloon Chardonnay glass, it too was shy and showed limited complexity and intensity for my preference. I understood the winemakers approach for a fresh, clean wine, but the process gave neither mineral earthiness nor richness.


The Mercator was much more to my liking, aided by 12 months’ maturation in new/2nd fill French oak. This was comparatively oak forwards with aromas of vanilla and coconut that led to greater concentration of apple and lemon flavours on the palate. The balance was good too and I liked the buttery texture in the mouth.


I was fortunate to taste the Fox Yankee Mike, named after the owner’s career as a pilot for South African Airways and passion for flying. The gold cockpit screen on the label and callsign name left me, as an ex-Royal Air Force officer, in no doubt of the origins. The wine itself, made into 1,000 bottles from a single block of CY clone Chardonnay, was a dizzying R750 a bottle. I wondered as I tasted if knowing the price affected my analysis and assessment of the wine. It is never easy to tell. The wine was an attractive shiny pale straw colour. Was it elegant (high quality) or shy (lower quality)? It did have good complexity and intensity, with excellent balance between apple and citrus flavours with those of French oak. It was the silkiest and most luxurious wine of the tasting, of that I was sure, with an acidity that held onto the palate for a lingering finish.



Wines were first made at Môreson by US-based Richard Friedman in 1993 and it remains a family business, with daughter Nikki managing the farm. Unsurprisingly, Chardonnay is by far the most grown cultivar – 18 hectares of the 35 hectare property are under vine – and red wines make up just 10% of the production. These were to be my next for tasting.


Cabernet Franc is always a favourite wine and, like the Cabernet Sauvignon, matured for 18 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Though full bodied, it was pleasantly light in style, being fruit-driven with delicious aromas of redcurrant, mulberry and cranberry with a dusty white spiciness beneath. Nippy tannins, not bitter, added to an elegant mouthfeel and a decent finish. It was my favourite wine of the tasting.


I rated the Cabernet Sauvignon a point higher as it had a more defined and pronounced bouquet. This was classic, heady berry fruity and potent Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry tannins gave firm grip to the palate to make for a decent wine that will improve only with keeping.


The similarly-priced Pinotage was atypical of the cultivar with grapes coming from the South-West of Stellenbosch. Indeed, I would have struggled to pick it out in blind tasting. The aromas were limited in intensity and not the usual ripe plum and cherry fruits. The flavours were more red than dark fruits that made for an interesting wine. Dry tannins, aided by 18 months in 40% new French oak, were smoother than expected for the 2015 vintage. I easily recognised the ‘Widow Maker’ name from my career in the British Air Force. The name was given to the American F-104 Starfighter jet in the mid-1960s due to its appalling safety record, particularly with the German Air Force. 262 of the 916 aircraft that were delivered crashed, including 4 on one day in June 1962.



The final red wine of the tasting (and not generally available for sampling) was another Stellenbosch Pinotage of altitudinous pricing, at R750 a bottle, and made from 2 specific rows of vines. The MKM name stems from the Moraka Klaas Maffa family names of the first families who worked the land. The 2013 vintage was the first released and, as with the Foxtrot Yankee Mike Chardonnay, I did my best to dissociate my tasting analysis and scoring from the known price. Made in clay amphorae that I was to see in the Cellar after, the medium to full bodied, medium ruby to purple wine showed a greater complexity than the Widow Maker Pinotage. Blueberry and plum aromas were laced with subtle mineral chilli and chocolate undertones. I scored it the highest of any wine of the tasting, notably for the palate which was smooth, elongated, with perfect balance between fruit, tannin and alcohol. The wine just went on and on for a prolonged finish.


I was treated last to a taste of the Fudge Straw Desert Wine, another with the gold aviator design on the bottle label. Unusually for a straw wine it was made with Chardonnay but in classic ancient method, with the bunch stems closed whilst still on the vine and left for the juices to concentrate before harvesting. Fermented using wild yeast, the wine was matured for 24 months in French oak to give a shiny, attractive and inviting deep yellow colour. The wine was full of flavour – dried tangerine, orange peel, apricot – with a delicious, clean melt-in-the-mouth texture on the palate that lasted. Low alcohol concentrations are customary with dessert wines and at just 11% this added to the lightness of the wine, as well as making it exceedingly more-ish.



Piet showed me around the Cellar before leaving. The fermentation tanks were geared up for the rush of harvest and there was an expectant air amid the equipment. I was surprised to see stainless tanks outdoors given the heat of the South African late-summer. I had seen in photos of Chile wine farms but not in South Africa. It was good to see too the clay amphorae up close (I had seen at a distance for making Sauvignon Blanc wines at Cape Point Vineyards) as well as the cement ‘eggs’ that are increasingly popular for white wine making.



I chose not to buy any wine which is rare for me. This was not because the quality was poor, far from it, but because the wines I liked most were either ones I have many of (the Cabernet Franc) or priced more than I could reasonably afford (the Mercator Chardonnay). The mid-priced wines were all circa R240 per bottle which is to be perhaps expected for Franschhoek wine farms. Without being too critical, I prefer for regular drinking the better value-for-money (and equally high quality) wines from elsewhere. To be fair, I did not taste from the entry Miss Molly Lifestyle Range.



Nonetheless, I left with a smile on my face and having experienced a great tasting. Môreson may be one of the smaller estates and with a white-heavy/MCC range but I enjoyed the wines. I wish now with hindsight that I had bought a bottle of the Straw Wine, for that was truly more-ish, even though a pricey R350 for half a bottle.

Wines tasted (bought *):


MV Solitaire Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs – R160


2016 Dr Reason Why Unwooded Chardonnay – R125
2015 Mercator Chardonnay – R240
2013 Foxtrot Yankee Mike Chardonnay – R750


2015 Cabernet Franc – R240 FAVOURITE WINE
2015 Mata Mata Cabernet Sauvignon – R240
2015 Pinotage – R220
3013 Moraka Klaas Maffa Pinotage – R750


2013 Fudge Straw Wine (375 ml) – R350


You Might Also Like

It’s High Time Again

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Simple Spier

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Au Revoir France!

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

More Still at Tanagra

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

On the Left, but then on the Right …

All Green at Villiera

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

An Early Start at Rietvallei

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Noble Wines without the Rot

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Taking the Garage into the Classroom



Red Chair in the Morning

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Relaxing Rosendal

Altitudes with Wine!

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Beyond Expectation

Wines to Love on Love Street

Colmant Sparkled

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Individual Quality at Jordan

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

No Black Marks at Raka

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Late at Lateganskop

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Wines Merely to Lust After

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

A Myth, a Princess, History and Destruction, 2 Names and 4 Styles – Shiraz with Pizzazz

Iconic Steenberg

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Boutique de Brendel

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Being Creative at Flagstone

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Mutual Attraction

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Morgenhof in the Morning

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

More than Just a Destination

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge


Kosie Wynes at Groenland

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Great Value in the Swartland

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

No Blues at Hillcrest

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert


  1. Boutique de Brendel – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] and variety of the South African wine industry and its wineries. Barely a kilometre to the South of Môreson, on the R45 just 5 minutes from Franschhoek centre, it made sense to visit Le Manoir en route my […]

  2. Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] Board Bill through Parliament. I had tasted only at Vergelegen, Maison, Rustenberg, Dragonridge and Môreson before. The grapes are picked at normal ripeness and then dried for 3 weeks on drying racks beneath […]

  3. Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] Allée Bleu, Boschendal, Solms-Delta, Anthonij Rupert, Paserene, Le Manoir de Brendel, La Motte, Môreson, Leopard’s Leap, Maison, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence. It would have been 20 except that La […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *