Simply oh so versatile Hunter Merlot

By David Ellis from vintnews.

Simply oh so versatile Hunter MerlotMargan Family Wines has released a 2014 Merlot that reflects just how good that year was for reds in the Hunter Valley, this one in particular, is absolutely exploding with wonderful first-up flavours of ripe red berries, spiced plums and cassis.

Made from fruit off vines growing on their own roots in the red volcanic soil of the Broke region, rather than having been grafted onto other stock, is a great early-drinking style wine whose vibrant fruit and subtle use of oak is nicely rounded out with savoury characters and a good balance of its spicy characteristics.

Best summed up as a medium bodied, softer fruit-driven style with subtle integrated oak, its drinking excellently now but has all the indications of being a drop with great aging potential.

Well priced at $25, you’ll find this 2014 Margan Hunter Valley Merlot a great match with tomato-based pasta or other tomato-based Italian dishes, with beef, pork or chicken barbecues… and as a mate does, a fantastic base for rich red wine sauces.

One to note: Pipers Brook on Tasmania’s north-east coast, Australia’s coolest and southernmost wine region, has released a stunner of a Gewurztraminer from 40 year old vines that are among the lowest-yielding of any Australian vineyard region – but of absolutely exceptional flavour and character.

While this wine’s from a 2015 vintage that was somewhat bumpy with a windy and warmer than usual winter and spring, and a mild and occasionally damp summer, the result is a drop with a wonderful palate of gingerbread confection, quince paste and lime/citrus, coupled with a fruit sweetness that’s intense but at the same time balanced by low natural residual sugar.

Chief Winemaker Rene Bezemer says at $34 this is among the company’s best-ever Gewurztraminers, and ideal with Thai, Indian, Malay and Vietnamese dishes.