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

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Wines to Love on Love Street

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

It’s High Time Again

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

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Noble Wines without the Rot

Boutique de Brendel

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Dornier Disappoints

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

No Blues at Hillcrest

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

No Black Marks at Raka

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Laibach Shows its Spots

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

More Still at Tanagra

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

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

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Iconic Steenberg

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

House Wine from the Wine Tram

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Late at Lateganskop

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Great Value in the Swartland

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Judge and be Judged!

Individual Quality at Jordan

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

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

More than Just a Destination

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

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

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Being Creative at Flagstone

Blush-endal!

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

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

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Beyond Expectation

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

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

Relaxing Rosendal

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

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

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

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

All Green at Villiera

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Wines Merely to Lust After

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Simple Spier

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Class in Glass at Glenelly

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Red Chair in the Morning

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Colmant Sparkled

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Woody Wildekrans

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

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

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Leave a Reply

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