Agustí Torelló Mata
Cava DO Brut Reserva
Spain, Penedes, Cava
$24.00 / bottle
Dolcetto Risto Itala
London, London, west end
Shiraz "Pimpala Road"
Region/Appellation: Australia, South Australia, South Australia
Style: Smooth and Silky
Vineyards: The Riverland is less than two hours drive from Adelaide and follows the Murray River to where it forms the border between, SA, NSW and Victoria. Sunshine, water and great soil have made the Riverland the engine-room of Australian wine, crushing over half of South Australia’s wine grapes (a third nationally). Geoff Merrill manages the non-estate vineyards that are used for this blend.
Winemaking Process: Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, the finished wine was aged for a few (~4) months in French oak barrels.
Alcohol Content: 14.5%
Tasting Note: Deep rich deep crimson with dark red hues. Aromas and flavours of blackberry, mulberry, spice and plum with hints of vanilla, peppery/spice, eucalyptus, and mint. Dark berry fruit on the palate, with chocolate and savoury soy on the finish. The tannins are fine and soft, yet offer structure and elegance to the wine. Overall the wine is balanced with great length.
Serving Temperature: Serve at 18° C
About the Grape
Shiraz: The Australian name for Syrah grape, which is native to France. But since Shiraz has become more popular than Syrah, in terms of consumption levels anyway, you will see the name used in other parts of the world (e.g. South Africa and Canada) as well.
While genetically Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, the flavours profiles are completely different. Shiraz tends to offer up slightly sweeter and riper aromas and flavours (but sometimes sweeter on the palate as well) like raspberry, cherry, and chocolate, and less peppery (black pepper) with more blue fruit and flower (blueberries and violets) aromas and flavours as in Syrah.
The Geoff Merrill winemaking philosophy has been and always will be, to make wine that allows regional, varietal and vintage expression, without excessive winemaker intervention.
The history of the Geoff Merrill Mount Hurtle winemaking operations began over a century ago when a young Englishman, Mostyn Owen, purchased 200 acres of prime Reynella hillside and built a winery in 1897. Of these 200 acres set in the Hurtle Vale Ward just behind Reynella, 150 were planted with vines.
Mount Hurtle was innovative for its time, using the principles of gravity to feed wine throughout the cellars. Because of this the building is now state heritage listed.
Geoff Merrill acquired Mount Hurtle Winery in 1985 – a derelict and dilapidated building. After two years of hard work and a special vision by Geoff and his supporters to restore the winery to its former glory, Mount Hurtle Winery is now an oasis among suburbia, nestled in four acres of vineyards and landscaped gardens.
Geoff Merrill was raised on a sheep station in the far north of South Australia until he was 11 years old. The Merrill family then moved to the Barossa Valley where Geoff's first links with the wine industry were formed. His formal education was gained at local Barossa Valley Schools and the Institute of Technology in Adelaide.
From 1970 to 1973 Geoff undertook a winemaking traineeship at B Seppelt & Son. A position as Experimental Winemaker with Stellenbosch Farmers Winery lured him to South Africa for a year in 1974, after which he travelled through Europe. By the end of 1975 Geoff was back in Australia and had joined Chateau Reynella as Assistant Winemaker. In 1977 he was promoted to Senior Winemaker, a position he held until 1985. When Thomas Hardy & Sons purchased Chateau Reynella in 1982 Geoff stayed on, continuing to make the Chateau Reynella wines. By 1985 he had become a Consultant Winemaker for Hardy and Chateau Reynella's red wines.
Whilst at Chateau Reynella Geoff also made wines under his own Geoff Merrill label. The first releases in 1983 were the 1980 Cabernet and 1981 Semillon. During the early years the Geoff Merrill Wines were made at various locations, including Chateau Reynella, Pirramimma (McLaren Vale), and Peter Lehmann Wines (Barossa Valley).
Since 1988 Geoff has concentrated on the Mount Hurtle winery and his own wines. While retaining an almost Tuscan charm, the original winery and the 1500m² barrel cellar (completed in 1998) now perfectly copes with the rigors of modern day winemaking. A large family of geese and ducks also inhabit the winery grounds and dam near the front entrance to the estate.
Great wine is a matter of balance, and Geoff's passion for subtle, elegant and harmonious flavours in wine, is well documented. Geoff has continued to gain national and international recognition for his distinctive style of winemaking and his zest for life.
Having gained a reputation as a maker of innovative and elegant wines, Geoff has achieved significant success in both Australian and International wine shows. Most notably, in 2005 Geoff received the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy for his 2004 Reserve Shiraz. As a leading personality in the Australian wine industry, Geoff also established a high profile internationally, as a wine judge, and as a consultant in Italy making wines for the UK market.
Geoff Merrill Wines
291 Pimpala Road, Woodcroft,
South Australia 5162
Phone number: +61883816877
Visits: Yes, please call ahead.
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