Morgenhof in the Morning
Experience 3.5 Stellenbosch Wine 4.0

Morgenhof in the Morning

MORGENHOF WINE ESTATE
Friday 19 July 2019
http://www.morgenhof.com/

Dr Peter Rating – Experience: 3.5/5
Dr Peter Rating –
Wines: 4/5

It was fitting that Morgenhof – translated from Afrikaans as the ‘morning yard’ or ‘morning garden’ – was my first tasting of my day out in Stellenbosch. The tasting was long overdue since I have visited Morgenhof over 30 times during the past 3 years for Cape Wine Academy studies, initially for the Wine Certificate Course and more recently for the Diploma in Wine Course. Somehow, at the end of lectures and tasting, I never had the impulse to stay longer to taste the Morgenhof wines. Today, I was able to make amends.

Morgenhof

Morgenhof

It being winter, and a very dark and rainy one at that, the tasting was not in the ‘Tastevin’ Centre with its impressive French styled tan and terracotta tiled building with ornamental garden in front, but in the Restaurant. There was welcome fire when I arrived but in a room set up for a large party and not at the little table up the stairs where I tasted. I could see one end of the large underground maturation cellar through the window by my table, that was built in 1995 to house 2,000 French oak barrels and which reaches out all the way to beneath the main Tasting Building.

Morgenhof

Morgenhof

Rose hosted my tasting, with simple explanation, which was a very economic R35 for 5 wines. I started with a shiny, pale straw Chardonnay made from grapes grown on shale and clay soils that was lightly wooded for 9 months in 80% French/20% American oak. The wine was fresh on the nose with lemon, apple and modest vanilla notes. These followed through to light flavours on the palate that showed little malolactic fermentation for a clean mouthfeel and a decent acidity. This was a pleasant albeit undemanding and value for money wine.

Morgenhof

I rated the similarly oaked Chenin Blanc (6 months in old French barrels) the same. Like the Chardonnay, the wine was poured straight from the fridge and so very chilled – and slow to warm up to serving temperature in the wintry tasting room – which meant that it took time to show distinct Chenin light honey, guava, litchi and tropical fruit aromas and flavours. These were better on the palate than the nose. The wine showed good acidity and was longer at the finish than the Chardonnay. The intensity from 46-48 year old vines showed and the wine concentration was better for it.

Morgenhof

Morgenhof, like many a Stellenbosch wine estate, has a long history. The farm dates back to 1692 and to the French Huguenots. Dry farmed, there are 78 hectares of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec wines grown on varied granite-based soils at between 65 to 400 metres altitude on the 213 hectare property to produce mostly red wines (60% of production). All the wines show the Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Wine of Origin. The estate has been owned since 1993 by Anne Cointreau of the famous Cognac family (her grandfather founded Remy Martin Cognac) who bought Morgenhof when she moved to South Africa.

Morgenhof

The Vintage Select Cabernet Franc was my first red wine of the tasting. It promised much from its lightly embossed label, the just full-bodied, ruby red appearance, and raspberry, red plum, cassis, tomato leaf and cedar aromas on the nose. Made in lighter, approachable style, using 18 months maturation in French oak barrels, the wine needed more weight and intensity. The fruit flavours fell away all too fast and the tannins were not strong enough to make up for the difference. I wondered after if the 2013 vintage, known for its large crop, moderate conditions, and lower alcohol wines, was already at or past its best although there was no colour graduation.

Morgenhof

The Cabernet Sauvignon was altogether a far better wine and I bought a bottle, being excellent value at R89. Medium garnet and full bodied in appearance, the grapes are grown on South-West facing slopes with the wine aged similarly to the Cabernet Franc. The wine showed far greater intensity and complexity on the nose – aromas of cassis, mulberry, plum, bramble and black cherry – with a freshness that defied the 2014 vintage. Tannins gave grip and were opening up for a pleasant structure in the mouth.

Morgenhof

Morgenhof

The Cabernet/Merlot led Bordeaux-style blend, The Estate, was my final wine of the tasting. Slightly deeper in colour than the Cabernet Sauvignon, no doubt due to 13% Petit Verdot, the wine showed sweeter and more rounded aromas of red and dark fruits. Oddly for a wine with 5 cultivars, the complexity was less than that of the single variety Cabernet Sauvignon. The mouthfeel was softer, aided by silkier Merlot tannins, to give a balanced wine with medium length that grew on the palate.

Morgenhof

Morgenhof

Morgenhof did the basics on a grey morning without frill or fuss. The tasting experience was simple and average, with the whites served far too cold, whilst the wines were mostly decently made – and priced – without being particularly special. The value for money element, tasting fee included, pushed my wine rating just into the 4/5 score. Nonetheless, it was good to return to Morgenhof without having to spend all day in the classroom and, at last, to taste some of their own wines.

#capewinelover #DrPeter

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2016 Chardonnay – R73
2017 Chenin Blanc – R135

Red:

2013 Vintage Select Cabernet Franc – R92
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – R89* FAVOURITE WINE
2013 The Estate (41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc) – R250

Morgenhof

You Might Also Like

Stellenrust Eagerly Impresses

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Judge and be Judged!

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Dornier Disappoints

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

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

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

No Black Marks at Raka

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Colmant Sparkled

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Simple Spier

Relaxing Rosendal

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Beyond Expectation

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

More Still at Tanagra

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Classic(al) to Barrique – De Morgenzon Hits all the Right Notes

Woody Wildekrans

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

DeWaal Sits Atop the Pinotage Hill

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Noble Wines without the Rot

Iconic Steenberg

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Great Value in the Swartland

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

No Blues at Hillcrest

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Red and White Cab – and So Much More – at Asara

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Proudly Keeping it in the Family at Paul Cluver – or Not?

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Wines to Love on Love Street

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Red Chair in the Morning

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Blush-endal!

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Alto Reaches Heights with the M.P.H.S.

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

More than Just a Destination

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Laibach Shows its Spots

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Late at Lateganskop

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Putting into Port at De Krans

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

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

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

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

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Satisfaction in Getting My Ducks (and Wines) in a Row

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Individual Quality at Jordan

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

All Green at Villiera

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

House Wine from the Wine Tram

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

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

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Boutique de Brendel

History in Every Glass at Overgaauw

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Being Creative at Flagstone

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Hidden Valley and Its Wines are Revealed

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Wines Merely to Lust After

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

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

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Lovane Serves its Guests Well

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

It’s High Time Again

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

1 Comments

  1. All Green at Villiera – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] was the last tasting of my day out to the North of Stellenbosch having tasted at Morgenhof, Quoin Rock, Laibach and Slaley. Just off the R304 and close to the N1, it was an ideal last port […]

Leave a Reply

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