Winestate Magazine




A most interesting judging with the components of the so-called “bordeaux blend” - merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot hung out to dry by themselves. Some passed the test, others showed why it is best that they remain the minor partner of the cabernet blend. Then for the main game we looked at singular cabernet sauvignon ranging across all price brackets. The results proved to be quite mixed with the best coming forward, whilst others were either lacking or showing too many “arms and legs” as one judge put it.




A solid group. “Good colour and very eclectic styles ranging from the meaty and full, the vibrant and jubey to the herbaceous or earthy wines,” said one judge. “They have done merlot proud!”

Lévrier by Jo Irvine Barossa Valley Merlot 2016

Beautifully aged merlot with great varietal fruit aromas layered with cedary oak characters. Lovely ripe fruit flavours well supported by the oak and succulent acidity. $35

Mount Avoca Estate Organic Pyrenees Merlot 2019

Young, savoury and a somewhat pungent light purple wine with upfront leafy menthol fruit and chewy tannins. $37.95

Majella Coonawarra Merlot 2018

Lifted spicy fruit fragrances and creamy confectionery strawberry/blueberry palate. Great oak selection and ripe tannins. $30

Leconfield Coonawarra Merlot 2019

Lovely purple hues with lifted candied blackcurrant aromas, lean blue fruit flavours and drying tannins. $26

Bec Hardy Wines Pertaringa Stage Left Adelaide Hills Merlot 2018

Savoury/meaty nose with an oaky lift and lean blue fruit palate with floral hints reminiscent of lavender. $25

Artwine The Doghouse Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Merlot 2017

Subtle leathery/cola aromas and some dark fruit flavours with a good line of acid and savoury tannins. $35

Cumulus Vineyards Head In The Clouds Orange & Central Ranges Merlot 2019

A perfumed rose petal bouquet with spicy red currant driven flavour profile. $9.99




Some good wines in this line-up with riper flavours from the addition of cabernet.

Grey Sands The Mattock Tasmania Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2015

A younger greener style – very elegant and very varietal with a great nose and peppery rhubarb-like fruit flavours with some fabulous tannins. Very well-made wine. $45

Rymill Coonawarra MC2 Coonawarra Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2019

A very pretty wine with slightly herbaceous, pure varietal fruit fragrances. Solid palate with earthy chocolaty flavours, chalky tannins and acid nicely in check. $20

Burk Salter Riverland SA Merlot Cabernet 2016

Great ripe, chocolaty, old school style high alcohol but in balance with cigar box oak and chewy tannins. $18

Carillion Origins Arbitrage Wrattonbully Merlot Cabernet Shiraz Petit Verdot 2018

Lightly medicinal red fruit nose and a leaner, greener and elegant

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Barossa Boy Wines (6th Gen Wines) Phone: 08 8565 7550 Email: Web: Corryton Burge (Burge Family Wine Estates) Phone: +61 8 8563 7575 Email: Web: Gumpa