Katnook Estate Merlot 6pk 2015
Katnook is one of the oldest and most acclaimed producers of fine Coonawarra wine. With a history dating back to 1896, it has estate vineyards in the heart of the famed soils on the Riddoch highway. Winemaker, Wayne Stehbens, made every single vintage of Katnook up until his passing in 2017; a remarkable achievement. Katnook Estate has two wines in the Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine (VII 2018).
Katnook Estate Merlot 2015
There are two Merlot Gods in Australia and one has retired while the other is full of beans and stronger than ten men and he is the chap behind this salubrious wine. Wayne Stehbens is a Merlot aficionado and you will probably already know that 2015 is a terrific vintage in Coonawarra. It follows that this is a magnificent wine and one sniff and a large glug will prove this beyond doubt. Wayne’s swaggering Merlot is matured in 81% older French oak and 19% American oak (14% new) barrels. It spends 15 months snoozing in these vessels before being let loose on the world. What is remarkable about this bright, spicy and brocaded wine is that it has so much density and juiciness but with only 13.5% alcohol on board. This balance is remarkable and it is certainly the most succulent and sexy Merlot I have seen from these shores in a good long while. Drinking already, thanks to its pinpoint perfect equilibrium, this is a fabulous counterpoint to all the fabulous Cabernets which Australia makes in its droves. Give you palate a different flavour and sink your teeth into this beauty! Wayne, you are a genius – to think that you have made every bottle at Katnook since 1979 is an awe-inspiring achievement.
Source: Matthew Jukes (October 2017)