The 2016 Merlot was a lesson in fruit ripeness that we at Rhino loves Tiger loves Bear will cherish. What we at first thought to be a little green and lean has proven to show a remarkable balance of bright fruit, earthiness, sour acid and texture. Taken alone any of these characters might be overwhelming or unattractive but together have produced a remarkable wine. Shifting, complex & fantastical aromas of sour cherry & cassis, wet earth, tobacco leaf, cedar, liquorice, leather, dark chocolate and rich vanillin oak spice. A juicy and almost crunchy front palate of bright cassis, cherry pit, passionfruit and tobacco leads to deliciously sour & mineral acid, rich spiced dark chocolate, cherry, hints of coconut and supple, ultrafine tannins.
We love this wine.
91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon were destemmed into open stainless steel fermenters for a quick, hot co-fermentation with indigenous yeast. The fermentation was followed by a prolonged post ferment maceration to establish the desired tannin profile, prior to pressing into 50% new and 50% neutral French oak barrels. The wine was then aged, undisturbed (other than topping and tasting) for 24 months prior to bottling.
Region: Macedon Ranges
Micro-Region: Drummond North
Style: Racy, Complex and Creamy
Closure: Screw Cap
Winemaking Style: Progressive
Cellaring Potential: Long Term
Classification: Organic, Single Vineyard, Natural Yeast