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Clonakilla are one of our nation's most eminent vineyard wineries, a tiny production operation, established by a CSIRO scientist at Murrumbateman, very near Canberra. It turned out to be a fortuitous planting, with a climate not dissimilar to Bordeaux and northern Rhone, the Clonakilla property now occupies a rank next to the mighty Grange on the prestigious Exceptional Langtons Classification, it yields vintages of Australia's most invaluable Shiraz. At $26.99, the estate's entry level belies its stature and excellence within the pantheon of great Australian wine, an essential experience this week for all enthusiasts, a canny choice for shrewd and judicious.. Here's what our most picky pundits prefer»
The mean gravelly soils and invigorating climes of Mount Barker of the Australian southwest, were identified during the 1960s by the world's leading viticulturalists, as a place uncannily similar to the great terroirs and clime of Bordeaux. The pioneering vines of Forest Hill were the first ever planted here, sired from rootstock of ancient Houghton clones, inaugurally vintaged by the illustrious Jack Mann in 1972. The Cabernet and Riesling of Forest Hill were promptly distinguished by multiple trophy victories and praised by gentleman James Halliday as the most remarkable wines to come out of the Australian west. Forest Hill have remained a source of the most.. Softly spoken wonders from the west»
Established 1973, Woodlands of Wilyabrup were one of the first vineyards in Margaret River, planted with a view to emulating the great growths of Bordeaux. Recipients of the highly prestigious Jack Mann Memorial Medal and Wine Industry Lifetime Achievement Award for their tremendous vintages of all things Cabernet. Assembling the rich Medoc style blends are what Woodlands do best. Painstakingly crafted by hand, to challenge the primacy of the illustrious Chateaux de la rive gauche, very few vineyards yield the quality of fruit that merits vintaging into a statuesque wine dominated by the prettily fragrant Cabernet Franc. Woodlands were established from the.. The complex bordeaux blend by one of margaret river's founding wineries»
David Wynn introduced cardboard wine casks, flagons and the Airlesflo wine tap to the nation. He is best remembered for re packaging the Coonawarra estate which bears his name and which endures as one of Australia's icon brands. Wynn was a master of his craft and studied oenology at the world renowned Magill wineworks. An astute marketer and talented blender, he also had a keen eye for the land, investing in the ancient John Riddoch fruit colony and planting vines on a challenging site, high atop the lofty latitudes of Valley Eden. Mountadam Vineyards were built from the ground up, with a view to crafting a limited range of well structured, weighty wines,.. The legacy parcels of mountadam vineyards»

Pepper Tree Merlot CONFIRM VINTAGE

Merlot Wrattonbully South Australia
Wrattonbully makes Merlot of exceptional character and flavour, arguably the finest and most consistent annual yields in Australia. The wines are distinctive for their blueberry, plum and mint character, sound structure and velvet tannins. Pepper Tree's Merlot vines are fortuitously planted to heavier clay soils at the toe of the main Wrattonbully dune, as heavy clays have proved to be the best soils for Merlot in its traditional home of Bordeaux. A soft and rich, profoundly fruit driven Merlot wine with more power and weight of varietal flavour than most.
Available by the dozen
Case of 12
$275.00
The prominent viticultural feature of Wrattonbully is a series of ancient beach ridges and dunes which run north/ south, made of soft crumbly limestone which weather to produce the red and brown Terra rossa clay loam soils that are so highly prized for growing outstanding quality wine grapes. The higher elevation brings the advantage cold air drainage which reduces the risk of frost throughout the colder months of the growing season. Harvests of Merlot from choice Wrattonbully vineyards are treated to a fortnight on skins in static fermenters, pressed off skins and racked to a selection of fine French oak barrels for eighteen months before assembling into the final wine.
Deep purple red colour. An aromatic Merlot nose of black and red fruits with spicy lift and subtle oak. A fully ripe, classically medium bodied palate, packed with sweet berry fruits and spice, balanced by subtle French oak and fine, long velvet tannins, before a lingering complex finish. Enjoy with polpette e papardelle or coq au vin.
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Pepper Tree
Although Pepper Tree winery is sited in the Hunter Valley and founded as a Hunter Valley winery, the winemakers believe that grapes grown in other regions exhibited characters that should be explored

Over the years Pepper Tree have acquired vineyards in the Orange, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra growing areas to enable the winemaker production of varietal wines that either did not grow as well in the Hunter Valley, or are different expressions of a particular varietal that are of interest to connoisseurs of fine wines. The character and complexity reflected in the Appellation wines are an expression of diverse vineyard resources. A second is the balance and elegance in the Multi-Regional range of varietals. These are blends of a varietal wine made from grapes grown at two or more of vineyards that vary from year to year. All Pepper Tree wines are produced, aged and bottled at the winery.

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The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's best white wine areas and consistently wins a disproportionate number of awards in National Wine Shows. Pepper Tree's Hunter Valley vineyard is in the Mount View area of the Lower Hunter Valley in the sheltered foothills of the Brokenback Range and covers 38.5 ha of plantings made up of 16.5 ha Chardonnay, 2.5 ha Verdelho, 3.7 ha Semillon, 7.5 ha Shiraz, 1 ha Viognier, 1 ha Sauvignon blanc, 3 ha Merlot, 2.4 ha Cabernet, 0.5 ha Grenache and 0.5 ha Pinot Noir.

The Mount View area produces highly distinctive Chardonnay with flavours of melon, passionfruit and pineapple. Verdelho also performs well in the area with soft tropical fruit characters balanced by good natural acidity. Semillon has the usual lime-citrus characters with flavours being at the higher end for the variety. Shiraz from the area is typically soft, spicy and elegant with a perfumed bouquet.

The Orange region of New South Wales is one of Australia's newest premium regions being favoured for its high altitude cool climate. Situated approximately 270 km west of Sydney the topography and soils of the Orange region are dominated by the extinct volcano Mt Canobolas. Pepper Tree's Orange vineyard sits in a small subvalley protected on 3 sides with a sunny northerly aspect. Elevations vary from 740m to 800m and the site is capable of ripening all the main red varieties as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Cabernet, Merlot & Shiraz all produce wines with deep red colours and intense palate complexity.

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The wines from Pepper Tree's Orange vineyard typically have a lighter more elegant structure than those of warmer areas with light lifted fruit acids lengthening the palate. In addition to the main red varieties, small blocks of Pinot Noir (for sparkling base) & Zinfandel have been planted. Zinfandel produces rich spice and berry characters with crimson red colours. This variety seems well suited to the Orange region and the wines show great promise.

Coonawarra is Australia's top red wine area specialising in Cabernet Sauvignon of great complexity and elegance. Pepper Tree's Coonawarra vineyard comprises 8 ha of Cabernet and 4 ha of Merlot and is located midway between the town of Penola & Coonawarra. Soils consist of thin dark brown to dark grey clays interspersed with broken limestone fragments. The shallow soils restrict vigour and this, coupled with rigorous canopy management, allows the vignerons to control berry size and bunch numbers and thus eventual crop load. This control of crop level and berry size gives the winemakers the best possible starting material with which to create premium red wines.

Pepper Tree's Wrattonbully vineyard covers 100ha of plantings, mainly Cabernet (48 ha) Merlot (23 ha) and Shiraz (20 ha). Cabernet is planted on the highest dune areas where Terra Rossa soils overlie shallow limestone. Individual blocks are given separate canopy management, cropping structure and moisture control according to soil depth which can vary from a few centimetres to over 1 metre.

Flavour maps constructed for the vineyard have shown considerable variability for both Cabernet and Shiraz, and have allowed the winemakers to isolate individual sections of the vineyard to produce parcels of outstanding quality. Merlot is planted on heavier clay soils at the toe of the main dune as heavy clays have proved best for Merlot in its traditional homeland.

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