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2020 Merlot

2020 Merlot


Beautifully spicy with dark berry flavours, chocolate and subtle French oak flavours.

This Merlot is a great example of Merlot when it’s bright and fresh, and we made this wine to show you how beautiful this grape variety can be when it’s grown in a cool climate and carefully made.

Not every red wine shows better with heavy tannins and often the subtle nuances found in Merlot can be lost with excess oak maturation, so we limited the time this wine spent in oak barrels.

With this Merlot, think flavours of chocolate, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and spice with a touch of black pepper.

Read tasting notes below

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Flavour Profile

Abundant flavours of chocolate, blackberry, cherry and spice.

Medium-bodied and balanced with a long, dry finish.


Winemaking on this wine began when we gently de-stemmed the fruit without crushing the grapes so that the seed tannins were not released into the wine.

A short period of cold skin contact before yeast inoculation was used to extract the delicate and fragile flavours and flavour-precursors from the Merlot skins, followed by a quick 7-day ferment to capture these flavours while encouraging further development of the wine’s complexity from the ferment.

Malolactic fermentation was completed alongside primary fermentation (yeast fermentation) for a quicker, cleaner and more efficient finish.

After 7 days fermented on skins, the Merlot was gently pressed off and only the best portions were kept. Malo-lactic fermentation was further encouraged through warming to finish within 2 weeks after pressing so that we could capture the nuances in the wine as soon as possible.

Only 20% new French oak (ultra-fine grain) was used, as we wish to highlight the beauty in this wine and show you how great Merlot can be when pure.

Food Matches

Perfect pairing - Spaghetti Bolognese
Pork ribs
Grilled Salmon
Roast Turkey


Gold Medal – Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2019
Gold Medal – Melbourne International Wine Challenge 2019
Trophy Winner for "Best Dry Red" - Cowra Wine Show 2016
Hot 100 Wines of 2015 - Adelaide Review

Winemaker's Notes

This wine defies preconceptions of what Australian Merlot is, and has been.

It’s a great example of Merlot when it’s made to be bright and fresh, and I chose to produce this wine style to show people how beautiful this grape variety can be when it’s grown in a cool climate and carefully made to be released early with minimal oak.

‘As a Winemaker, I often feel that making wine is, (in some ways), like raising a child’.

‘Merlot from Mt Benson and Robe would (for comparison) have a natural talent for ballet and music, so I’m not going teach it to play rugby like I might do for a more robust grape like Cabernet. Instead, Merlot is more delicate and requires precise, gentle handling. It’s about encouraging the natural strengths of this often misunderstood grape variety and gently guiding the wine from the vineyard to bottle so that the personality and regionality of the grape variety is visible for you to see in the finished wine.’
- Dan Berrigan


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