Robertson Winery has launched their first single-cultivar extra light red wine – The Robertson Winery Extra Light Merlot 2011. This wine, without losing any of its freshness and fruit flavours, at 9.13% alcohol by volume, is around 30% lighter in alcohol than Robertson Winery’s standard Merlot 2011.
Robertson Winery uses the term Extra Light because it is both an extra dry (less that 2.5gm/ℓ residual sugar) and low alcohol wine (between 6.5% and 10% alcohol by volume).
Winemaker Jacques Roux says, “With the trend towards a healthier lifestyle and the stricter enforcement of drink driving laws, we are confident that the Robertson Winery Extra Light Merlot 2011 will be widely welcomed by our customers, knowing that the quality of Robertson Winery will be sustained in their light wines. This wine has strong aromas of plum, mulberry, cinnamon, and spices, and has flavours of ripe punchy plum and sweet black cherries. I suggest enjoying the wine with poultry, red meat, or pasta, and salads.”
The Robertson Winery Light Range, launched in 2010, now comprises the Extra Light Merlot, the Extra Light Sauvignon Blanc (the first light sauvignon blanc in South Africa), the Light Chenin Blanc and the Light Pinotage Rosé. This light range was developed through legitimate cellar techniques and, to a lesser extent, creative viticulture. The Extra Light Merlot was not oak matured, as this could have overwhelmed this light-bodied and refreshing wine.
If tasted blind, most people wouldn’t recognize this wine as having a low alcohol level.
A study in France, a few years ago, found that a thousand consumers were unable to differentiate between the taste of standard wines with 13 to 14% alcohol and those with a moderate reduction of alcohol to 10 to 11% (Dr Dee Blackhurst in a 2009 Wynboer article).
Approximate retail prices of the Robertson Winery Light range
Extra Light Merlot 2011 R45.95
Extra Light Sauvignon Blanc 2011 R35.95
Light Chenin Blanc 2011 R32.95
Light Pinotage Rosé 2011 R32.95