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

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Noble Wines without the Rot

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Simple Spier

Dornier Disappoints

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

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

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

More than Just a Destination

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Beyond Expectation

Relaxing Rosendal

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Wines Merely to Lust After

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Wines to Love on Love Street

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

Being Creative at Flagstone

Boutique de Brendel

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Individual Quality at Jordan

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

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

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Colmant Sparkled

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

All Green at Villiera

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Iconic Steenberg

No Black Marks at Raka

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Red Chair in the Morning

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Laibach Shows its Spots

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Class in Glass at Glenelly

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

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

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

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

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Late at Lateganskop

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

More Still at Tanagra

It’s High Time Again

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

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

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Blush-endal!

Great Value in the Swartland

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Judge and be Judged!

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

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

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

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

No Blues at Hillcrest

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

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Woody Wildekrans

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

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 […]

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