1996 Petaluma Coonawarra Merlot

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1996 Petaluma Coonawarra Merlot

Coonawarra, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
$39.99 Bottle
  • Cellar 8 - 10 years (2006-2008)
  • Closure: Cork



Chateau Petrus which is grown on an exceptional piece of terroir in Pommerol, Bordeaux is one of the world's rarest and highest priced red wines. The owner, Christian Moueix entertains and muses with a steady stream of Merlot wine makers who aspire to emulate the dizzy heights reached at Petrus. The investigative wine makers from around the world pick at the ripe grapes and taste the superb fruit flavours, they sniff around the winery to get a glimpse of the equipment, look at the names of the coopers on the barrel ends, enquire about the ratio of new and old wood and ask about the two o'clock position of the bungs on the barrels. How many rackings does the wine have, what are the fermentation temperatures, what sort of yeast and so on and so on.What drives these winemakers to emulate Petrus? Is it madness, envy or a fair dose of greed. Making a premium wine, anywhere in the world requires old vines, low yields and a good percentage of new French oak, as well as a bit of care. The final production cost is around $10-$12 a bottle. So how does the final cost of some Australian Merlots escalate to a couple of hundred dollars? The answer is simple - it's a con job! Plain ordinary greed!Croser on the other hand has always charged a top dollar, relative to the general market, but on the other hand the top dollar has always represented value for money at the same time. We can accept that a marketing figure and promotional dollars goes into some wines like Grange, and they are the exception because they elevate the entire Australian wine industry to a new level, so we all benefit. However, for some producers it's been a 'charge as much as you like attitude' and quite frankly consumers should resist these outrages.


The 1996 vintage was a Great Coonawarra year and many wine lovers will by now be aware of this, as many of the 1996 reds are already on the market. This is the seventh Merlot indent offer from Petaluma and for wine collectors unfamiliar with the system, let us explain. Indent offers are made by an up front payment process, which gives the wine maker access to additional cash liquidity during the wines 2 year barrel maturation period.Tasting Notes: Deep crimson colour with mauve edges. The nose has a very pronounced earthy truffle aroma with mulberry, liquorice, confectionary and cedar spice behind. After about an hour the earthiness becomes subdued and the ripe fruit aromas surface to the forefront with mulberry, blackcurrant and plum being dominant. The palate has excellent structure - restrained, yet revealing the full force of superbly ripened Merlot grapes. Great depth and persistence of flavour with truffle, mulberry, cedar and confectionary flavours all beautifully balanced by very fine grained dry tannins. A wine that will continue to improve for the next 8-10 years. The wine finishes with a very long mulberry, cedar and liquorice aftertaste. Another outstanding result for Croser and his winemaking team.