JH 93 points, WA 88 points
Grape Variety :: Merlot
Region :: Coonawarra
Harvest :: 16th March – 1 st of April
pH :: 3.30 Acidity :: 6.4g/L RS :: 1.9g/L Alc/vol :: 13.5%
Vintage :: 2010 Coonawarra vintage will be remembered, not only as one of the earliest, but also for being amongst the best. The near ideal weather conditions of below average rainfall and above average temperatures in Coonawarra leading up to harvest were conducive to an early start and excellent quality. Merlot wines of the vintage have excellent colour, generous flavours and fine lingering tannins.
Oak Maturation :: Our Merlot is matured in predominantly small French oak Barriques for 20 months. Approximately 30% of these barrels were new the remainder was matured in older French and American barrels.
Cellaring Potential :: This wine will age gracefully for 8-10 years.
Food Matching :: Parmesan and thyme crumbed pork cutlets served with mustard mash and a ratatouille or roasted herbed chicken with a mushroom casserole.
Colour :: Deep dark plum reds with purple tinges.
Nose :: An alluring combination of dark fruits, spiced plum and blackberry are supported by subtle sweet oak aromas. Complex earthy characters are finely integrated with hints of vanilla.
Palate :: Richly layered dark fruits of blackcurrant and black cherry are gently laced with subtle sweet oak characters. Hints of spicy plum and game effortlessly combine with vanilla flavours and maturation complexities. Gentle, fine tannins complement the soft rounded palate structure.
Katnook Estate Merlot is one of the unsung heroes of the portfolio. Its substantial flavour profile offers attractive ripe varietal notes with regional spicy tones with generous palate structures and soft tannins.
This style is delicious now with new season lamb or cassoulets and will age for 8-10 years.
Wayne Stehbens began taking an interest in Merlot in the mid –eighties and says his trip to Bordeaux France in 1988 cemented his opinion that Merlot is an underrated grape variety and misunderstood by many new world producers. His goal was to produce a new world Merlot to rival the Bordeaux classics.
“Merlot so widely planted in Bordeaux and it is because the grape has a very strong influence on the Bordeaux wines – Merlot is highly underrated in my mind.”
Wayne’s first Merlot commercial release was the 1987 vintage. His philosophy is “to simply optimise the quality of our estate grown fruit and to reveal the unique characters of the Coonawarra in every varietal Katnook Estate wine we make, including Merlot.”
Winemaker Wayne Stehbens