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  • 2015 MERITE MERLOT 750ml

2015 MERITE MERLOT 750ml

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100% Merlot
Wrattonbully, Joanna, South Australia

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The estate is located in the Joanna section in the Wrattonbully wine region, the northern neighbour of Coonawarra, in South Australia.

Mike and his wife, Colleen, purchased land in the Wrattonbully district in 2000 and went about planting the vineyard to cabernet, shiraz, malbec and merlot. Merlot was of particular interest to Mike, as he felt the region and the soils on the site might well prove to be perfect for it. When newer clones became available in Australia, Mike set about planting the ultimate 18ha parcel with each clone, driven by an obsession to create the country's best merlot.

Now, Mike and Colleen are creating wines from their vines. As vignerons they have been actively involved since the establishment of the vineyard, to growing the grapes each vintage, winemaking, marketing and sales. They started with the 2013 Merite Merlot and critics sat up and took note. "Unlike any other Merlot I know" wrote one, "a new benchmark" wrote another.

While almost all Australian Merlot in the bottle is from one clone, this wine, our flagship wine, is a multi-clone blend made from French clones that are new to Australia, on a site that produces fruit a grade or two above what is normally expected of Australian Merlot. These ‘new’ clones grow better and so may be harvested earlier providing a new set of flavor profiles and wine styles for Australian Merlot. This wine aims to be a new benchmark Australian Merlot.

GI: Wrattonbully (Limestone Coast, South Australia)
Site(s): Estate vineyards in the Joanna region of Wrattonbully

Vintage notes: Veraison and vintage were one of the earliest on record for Wrattonbully. Cool days and nights during harvest allowed for an elongated harvest, resulting of wines of brightness and expression at lower alcohols. Generally regarded as an exceptional vintage for Wrattonbully.

Vineyard notes: This wine is made from five different merlot clones, planted both on own roots and low-vigour rootstock (rootstock is not used to protect against phylloxera, which isn’t present in Wrattonbully, but rather to minimize frost risk and lower yields). Four of the clones are from France, planted in
2006, and represent a style that can be harvested at lower baumé for lower alcohol. Varied top soils, including the terra rossa red, silty clays made famous by neighboring Coonawarra, are over a limestone bedrock. The vineyard sits 110m above sea level, making it the highest planting in Wrattonbully.

Winemaking: Clonal batches were harvested separately and kept independently through the winemaking process until the final blending session. Grapes were sorted via optical berry sorter, crushed, and destemmed. Primary ferment was conducted at 23 ° Celsius. Twice daily pump overs in small
batch stainless steel fermenters. After 7 days, ferments were drained, pressed, and racked into barrel. Wine is aged in Sylvain French oak, 40% new, for 18 months. Egg white fined.

Closure: Natural cork 
ABV: 14.1%

LEGEND tasting notes: A wine combining elegance, savory notes, and plump fruit character. Flavors of redcurrant, deep black cherry, and bush tomato, with a savory undercurrent of river mint and fern. The palate is juicy and supple, but not dense or weighty. Loads of structure and flavor from oak, but
does not overwhelm, just adds complexity. A cellar-worthy wine that delivers a lot of pleasure in the short term.

Production size: 500 dozen

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