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2013 Smith & Hooper Wrattonbully Reserve Merlot

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

If you love a medium-bodied red that’s going to give you all the warmth and generosity of a loving hug, then this is the wine for you. Merlot can be like that, all attractive and giving on the front of the palate and then it dies away. Not here though, Smith & Hooper Reserve Merlot is finely structured with poise and personality. You’ll be rewarded by a rich, berried and savoury aroma, reminiscent of leather, before a palate that’s dark fruited and concentrated with dusty tannins and surprising length.

Winemaker's Notes

Ancient and secluded, Wrattonbully is one of Australia’s most exciting viticultural discoveries of recent times. Blessed with the celebrated soil profile of terra rossa over limestone, the region is rapidly establishing a high class reputation for wines of depth and elegance.

Soft yet full of flavour, rich and elegant. Wrattonbully Merlot bewitches with its flavour, intensity and opulence. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is naturally at home within this young viticultural region in South Australia’s Limestone Coast.

Viticulture / winemaking: A small section of fruit from our Hooper’s Vineyard is selected for our Reserve Merlot. The red terra rossa over limestone soil profile and a gently easterly facing slope combine to give a superior terroir for Merlot of outstanding character.

A portion of the wine was made from four tonnes of hand picked Merlot that was de-stemmed without crushing into 30 barriques. The barrels were placed on rotating cradles that acted as mini rotating fermenters. At the completion of fermentation the barrels were topped up allowing extended maceration, providing a unique bright robust style of wine. The wine was matured in barriques for 14 months before final barrel selection and blending.

Vintage conditions: A very high quality vintage with wines of strong colour, generous flavours and ripe tannin. The winter growing conditions were quite mild with near to average rainfall. Budburst was early with vine growth getting off to a good start. However, during spring and summer conditions were warm and rainfall was below average, allowing only moderate crops to be set and resulting in an early harvest.

Winemaker’s comments: Smith & Hooper Reserve Merlot aromas show plums, roses, blueberries and spice with a touch of eucalypt. The palate has impressive texture. It opens with ju-jube fruit transitioning to a silky tannin and plum middle palate. The wine finishes refreshingly bright and lingers long after the last sip. Smith & Hooper Reserve Merlot will cellar for ten years and be drinking at its best in five years. This is a wine to contemplate and enjoy with a vintaged cheddar style cheese.

Alc/vol: 14.0%

expert reviews about

2013 Smith & Hooper Wrattonbully Reserve Merlot

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2013 Vintage) says
Has far greater intensity and length than its lesser sibling, setting the pace with the expressive bouquet and long, persistent palate, where cassis meets an unexpected twist of chocolate before savoury tannins take command on the finish.
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