Merlot Barossa South Australia
When Grant Burge released his first pure varietal Merlot, there were only two other such wines in Australia. Burge is a pioneer of Barossa Merlot, planting the first exclusively Merlot vineyard at Hillcot in 1980. The fully mature vines can now yield grapes with intensely concentrated flavours, displaying the charm and characteristic softness expected of truly fine Merlot. Often called upon to soften the palate of more tannic varietals, pure Merlot makes a natural match to lamb and potato recipes.
Fruit is harvested off twenty year old vines, planted to Burge's Hillcot property in the Barossa. Grapes are delivered immediately to the Burge wineworks at Tanunda and crushed into static overhead fermenters, where they remain on skins for a week of extraction. Ferments are allowed to peak at 32°C, then cooled to 22°C, for the retention of plummy fruit characters. Juices are racked and returned every second day, pumped over thrice daily to further intensify the colour and flavours. Batches are transferred to a selection of American and European oak puncheons for completion of ferments, followed by the final assemblage and return to barrel for twenty months maturation.
Ruby red in colour. A bouquet of red fruits and blackberry, sweet spice and hints of dark chocolate. The aromas are complimented by a subtle herbal earthiness and charry oak. The palate is soft and fleshy, exhibiting more dark berry fruits and sweet raspberries. Hillcot shows excellent structure with soft approachable tannins and an elegant lingering finish. A terrific match with lamb and potatoes.