The Grant Burge Merlot well and truly sets the benchmark for its varietal in the Barossa. Grant Burge was a pioneer of Merlot in the Barossa and planted the first vineyard of this red variety here at the Hillcot Vineyard in 1982. When he produced his first straight Merlot wine there were only two others available in Australia, and although merlots are popular now, Grant Burge Hillcot Merlot still sits among the top-selling Merlots for its price.
The 2016 vintage in the Barossa saw a cool winter with lower than average rainfall, which continued into spring, with warmer than average temperatures through November, December and January. Late January rain combined with a mild February and March allowed for a smooth harvest and good flavour development. The 2016 vintage is regarded as a very good to exceptional year for reds in the Barossa.
The 2016 Hillcot Merlot is deep red in colour with purple hues. The nose is dominated by rich aromas of blackberry, cherry, mint, dark chocolate, mocha and sage. The soft, supple palate has concentrated flavours of red berries, with soft ripe tannins that add balance to the oak and fruit sweetness. A generous, refined fruit structure, this medium-bodied wine is ready to enjoy now or can be cellared for seven to 12 years.
"If the Barossa barely tolerates cabernet sauvignon, merlot is even further away from where it should be, yet, despite this, Grant Burge is able to present a wine with as much plum, cassis and black olive as any cool region you care to name, oak a strong ally." - Wine Companion
Tasting Note: Aromas of red berries, sweet spice and hints of dark chocolate. A subtle herbal earthiness, dark berry fruits and sweet raspberries with rich charry oak. Excellent structure with soft approachable tannins and an elegant lingering finish.