This time next week I’ll be in Wrattonbully, the Limestone Coast. It’s partly what inspired me to request a sample of Smith & Hooper Merlot 2010, which I spotted is on deal in Morrisons at the moment.
Merlot has proved a pretty tricky customer in Australia, but this is a very smart, textbook Merlot for the money – rich and smooth but with Limestone Coast balancing freshness. A great example of the lovely (2010) vintage, in which grapes were harvested early (5th to 28th March 2010) at full ripeness. Here’s my note:
Smith & Hooper Merlot 2010 (Wrattonbully)
This classy Merlot is sourced from two vineyards. You guessed it – the Hooper Vineyard (planted in 1994) and the Smith Vineyard (planted in 98) – which are both located on Terra Rossa over limestone soils (neighbouring Coonawarra’s famous soil type). It sports a rich, cedary nose and palate with lovely depth of velvety, chocolate-edged plum fruit. With juicy freshness to balance it’s lingering and intense without being overly demanding. Very pleasurable drinking. 14.5% Until 8 September it’s on deal at Morrisons at £9.99 (saving £2).