Most drinkers regard merlot as a simple, light quafer with hints of plum and raspberry but the best merlots offer intensity, depth of flavour, firm tannin structure and serious length. Merlot works best blended with cabernet and other Bordeaux varieties, though it can star as a solo actor with just a splash of something else. There’s the stunning, and stunningly expensive, Chateau Petrus from Pomerol in Bordeaux, and a couple of great Italians, most notably Maseto from Tuscany. Efforts to identify the best region for merlot in Australia are ongoing. Our producers make value merlots, which drink as basic reds, as well as wines of the highest quality with prices to match.
Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Merlot 2006
Intense, balanced and yet retaining a degree of elegance. Flavours edge through dried fruits, plum and liqueur fruit cake. [93 points]