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1995 Petaluma Coonawarra Merlot
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- Cellar 8 - 10 years (2005-2007)
- Closure: Cork
Brian Croser has carefully consolidated his position as a great Australian winemaker, and his Merlot Indent offers are beautifully orchestrated and unashamedly draw parallels and inspiration from the Indent Offers of Burgundy and Bordeaux - whereby parcels of the classed growths are offered early onto the International wine market. The system has a double effect - firstly by releasing the wines in tranches (small parcels) the Bordeaux negociants talk the market up and get the best prices for themselves and the Chateau, and secondly, it provides an early and cheap form of finance to the Chateau owners who are constantly upgrading their vineyards and cellars.This is the sixth offer from Petaluma, which is restricted to 1400 cases. The Merlot never comes on the open market after the Indent - and so the only way to obtain this wine is by pre purchase. Croser sources fruit from two sites, Petaluma's Evans Vineyard in Coonawarra, and Sharefarmers vineyard - north of Coonawarra. Merlot is an early ripening varietal, and as such is a godsend to winemakers in cooler years. Vintage conditions in 1995 were cool, with rain falling in Coonawarra after Easter. The 1995 Merlot was picked prior to the rains and reflects a degree of perfect ripeness. The wine will spend a total of 18 months in new Nevers oak barriques and given a light egg white fining, before bottling without filtration.Tasting Notes: Opaque crimson colour with mauve edges. The nose is a little restrained at first - but cold rooms in the middle of winter slow the volatile molecules down somewhat! Once the wine warms up, a superb range of aromas emerge. Confectionery, cedar, violets, mulberry and licorice all sorts in the background. The palate displays great depth of flavour and concentration that will gain complexity with time. Ripe plums, spice, mulberry, liquorice all sorts and a hint of chocolate are superbly integrated with new French oak. The flavours are mouth filling and build in the mouth to a remarkable climax on the back palate - exceptional length and aftertaste, with mulberry, plum, liquorice all sorts and cedar re emerging. Perfect balance, fine velvet tannins, yet with a lingering dry aftertaste. Cellar 8 - 10 years. Stocks of this wine are extremely limited.