Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sunnyhurst Winery Merlot 2010

Sunnyhurst Winery
Merlot 2010
Review by Ray Jordan - The West Australian Wine Guide

Sunnyhurst Winery Merlot 2010

Opens with an earthy fruitcake mix on the nose with traces o chocolate and savoury plum. The palate is soft and smooth with supple tannins and a little oak.

Licorice and dark Satsuma plum with a savoury character together. Rich and generous mouth feel [ is this a merlot or what??]


SunnyHurst - Makers of fine, hand made table wines, Sunnyhurst is a consistant winner of medals at both WA and interstate wine shows. Visit for winery talk to the winemaker, taste the wines.
The beautiful Sunnyhurst Gardens are the perfect venue for a country garden wedding.

Region:  Blackwood Valley

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hillbrook Merlot 2011

Hillbrook Merlot 2011
Hillbrook Merlot 2011

We are now releasing our 2011 Hillbrook Merlot, a medium bodied, elegant and silky smooth wine with spicy plum aromas and a little cedary oak. The palate displays excellent fruit characteristics with fine grainy tannins and well-weighted oak in support. The structure carries the palate to an effortlessly long finish.

This wine has won medals at the 2013 Sydney Royal, Perth Royal and Royal Adelaide Wine Shows. It will continue to evolve over the next few years.

Hillbrook Merlot 2010

A deep ruby colour, rich plum and berry fruits predominate with a hint of strawberry jam and a touch of cigar box. The rich fruitiness is complemented by a creamy texture and soft silky tannins.

Ray Jordan of The West Australia Wine Guide says:

"Medium bodied, elegant and silky smooth merlot. Spicy plum aromas with a little cedar oak, The palate displays some excellent fruit characteristics with fine, grainy tannins and well weighted oak in support."

Ray adds this personal touch: "I like the structure which carries the palate to an effortlessly long finish."

Wayne says: Where is my bottle guys... this will go GREAT with a STEAK on the plate

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Truffle Hill - Merlot 2011

Truffle Hill - Merlot 2011

Deep red with crimson hues, this Merlot presents plummy, dark fruit aromas. Soft fruit with lovely sweet plumminess and smooth texture characterises the palate of this easy, ready to drink style.

Juicy and fruit-forward with silky tannins that leave the mouth with lingering tones of milk chocolate and coffee.

Composition: 100% Merlot, Pemberton WA.

You could drink it now [ YES PLEASE ] or cellar for 5 - 8 years.

Ray Jordan of The West Australian Wine guide says:

"Good current drinking!"

Monday, 28 October 2013

Woodgate 2011 Merlot Manjimup Region Western Australia

The wine make says: The Woodgate  2011 Merlot  brings a more structured body to Merlot. With a small amount of Cabernet, and a deep red colour, fruit characters of ripe plums and berry fruits lead to hints of chocolate, spice and cedar.

A refined elegant finish brings it all into focus.

Cellar: 4 – 6 years.

Ray Jordan of The West Australian Wine Guide says:

"Plenty of promise here. An extra year in the bottle has added a degree of richness to the mid palate."

Friday, 18 October 2013

Canadian Merlots - A Really Good Drop

Hi. This is Wayne Mansfield with an update to Merlot A Day. Sorry I've been away for a while, but I've actually been away for five weeks. And over the next few episodes, I'll update you with the merlots I've been drinking from all over the world. We spent two and a bit weeks in the UK. Some fabulous merlots, but unfortunately not from the UK.

So I'll come back in a later episode and tell you the fabulous Chilean and other South American merlots I was tasting there. Then I spent some time in Canada, and we're going to talk in this session about three merlots that I tasted when I was in Canada. And then a couple of weeks on the Zuiderdam cruise ship and the wines that they had to share. So today I'm going to talk about three particular merlots. Lauren, who's putting together this video, will have behind me also the vineyard tours notes, how the wine is put together and why that's special. But three particular ones.

So the first one was called Sterling Merlot. And I'm a steak and merlot person. My best steak ever in my whole life, and that's not exaggeration, was at Whistler resort, the Westin Inn. It was absolutely fabulous. And it came with a local merlot, a Canadian merlot from the Sterling estate. So its merlot is just superb. In terms of cost, I'm not really sure, because we were in a five-star hotel, so they were charging outrageously for it.

But it's probably a $25 a bottle, really great taste, and I would give it, if it was possible, five glasses out of five on our scale. It was great value, amazing drinking, and very moorish. So that's the first one. And then on our trip we went a bit further down the track, and we went to Jasper's Creek, which is part of the Rocky Mountains. And there, with the evening meal we tried Cedar's Creek Merlot. It was superb.

Again, we don't hear much about Canada, because their wineries are very small and they produce, you know, five to ten thousand dozen bottles. So they're not exported anywhere of any extent in the world. But if you go to Canada, I'd recommend Cedar's Creek Merlot. It's a great drop. Again, pretty close to top. I would think it's probably $35 a bottle, but a great drink. And then in Banff at the Banff Springs Fairmont Hotel, which is just, just superb, we had with our evening meal a wine called La Frenz Merlot. Now I don't think it was a Canadian one with a name like La Frenz.

But it could have been, because as you know, French Canada, they have great wines as well. So the notes that Lauren had put up with this video will say where that comes from. But again, a superb merlot. But this one was nudging about $50 a bottle. So on the value stakes, probably not as good as the Sterling, but certainly a fabulous drink. So there's three more to my Merlot A Day, as I go around the world trying to sample every merlot that there is in the world. I can tell you it's a fabulous journey, and thanks for sharing it.

And until next I see you again, this is Wayne Mansfield 
saying, "Cin-cin."

Thursday, 10 October 2013


Merlot (pronounced Mare-LOW)

Merlot is the most widely planted red grape in France’s Bordeaux region, although it is eclipsed in stature by cabernet sauvignon, the grape with which it is routinely blended. In recent years, Merlot has enjoyed a explosion in popularity, especially in the United States, South America, Italy and Australia. In California, plantings have risen from 4,000 acres in 1988 to over 50,000 today.

A thin-skinned variety, merlot ripens earlier in the season then cabernet sauvignon and is less hardy, prone to a variety of ailments from shatter (the loss of potential fruit during flowering of the vine) to rot and mildew. It is more adaptable to cool climates than cabernet sauvignon, but similarly prefers a relatively warm growing environment.

Merlot’s popularity is due to the fact that it is softer, fruitier, and earlier-maturing than cabernet sauvignon, yet displays many of the same aromas and flavors – black cherry, currant, cedar, and green olive – along with mint, tobacco and tea-leaf tones. Although enjoyable as a varietal wine, it is probably most successful when blended with cabernet sauvignon, which contributes the structure, depth of flavor, and ageability merlot lacks.
Like cabernet, merlot is a good accompaniment to simply prepared beef and lamb dishes.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What Are the Benefits of Merlot Wine?

By: Bridget Coila

A glass of merlot could benefit your heart.
A glass of merlot could benefit your heart.
Merlot is a variety of red wine and, like other red wines, has been linked to specific health benefits in moderate drinkers. If you enjoy an occasional drink with dinner or after work, choosing a glass of merlot can potentially benefit your health in ways that other alcoholic beverages can't.

Heart Health

The primary beneficial component in merlot is resveratrol, a compound produced by grapes that is concentrated when the grapes are converted into wine. Much of the research around resveratrol has focused on its effects on the heart. According to the Mayo Clinic, resveratrol may help protect blood vessel linings, reduce cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Further research is needed to determine the specific effects of resveratrol on the heart and to determine whether red wine has enough of this beneficial compound to cause noticeable effects in people who regularly drink it.

Prebiotic Potential

Scientists from the University of Barcelona reported in the May 2012 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" that resveratrol exerted a prebiotic effect. Essentially, this compound in merlot helps boost the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, which may help protect you from gastrointestinal illness and reduce inflammation in the body. While most research on gut bacteria focuses on taking probiotics, such as those found in yogurt, this study suggests that you might be able to help your existing gut flora by drinking a glass of merlot or other red wine each day.

Other Effects

In May 2012, scientists presented research at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that indicated a link between resveratrol intake and better mobility in old age. Also, a 2008 study in the "Journal of Nutrition" linked red wine consumption to better cognitive performance in older adults. Other health benefits have been linked to red wine consumption in animal models, including protection against diabetes and obesity, but human studies are still needed, according to the Mayo Clinic.


The key to gaining the benefits of merlot is to drink responsibly. Drinking more than one drink per day if you are female or two drinks a day if you are male can potentially cause more harm than good. One drink is considered to be 5 ounces of wine. If you do not currently drink, do not start drinking merlot in an attempt to gain health benefits.