Mérite’s game-changing Merlot to debut at Australia Day Tasting

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Drinks: Drinks, Wines
Location: Australasia, Australia

If you’re not a fan of Aussie Merlot then this year’s Australia Day Tasting might have a bottle that will change your mind.

bottle shot Mérite Merlot – made from four clones of Merlot that have never previously been available in Australia – is making its UK debut at the tasting on 23 January.

Having received high scores and a string of good on-trade listings Down Under since it was launched, it is worth a look from any sommeliers going along.

The vast majority of Australian Merlot currently in production comes from just one clone. But when Colleen Miller and her husband Michael Kloak planted their Wrattonbully vineyard in 2000 they went out of their way to source different clones of the variety to go alongside their Cabernet and Shiraz.

Vinifying and blending the batches separately, ‘allows for a complete wine to be assembled without another variety blended in,’ according to Miller.

Mérite’s intention was to create a benchmark for Merlot in the country, and it’s certainly made an impression, acquiring listings in a string of top Australian restaurants, from the Opera House and Tetsuya’s in Sydney to Woodland House in Melbourne.

Australian Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas, scored the 2015 at 94 points, describing it as ‘densely scented’ and having an ‘obvious, but not overdone ripeness’.

The wine will be on show at Table 73. The Australia Day Tasting takes place at B1 in Southampton Row.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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