Geoff Merrill Botham, Merrill, Willis Black Label Chardonnay
Located just 30 minutes drive south east of Adelaide and parallel to the coast, these rolling hillside vineyards produce some of Australia`s finest Shiraz and Grenache based red wines. Some of the areas historic old wineries were established in the late 1800s and many remain today. With a strong regional identity on the international stage, the wines have a distinctive style and subtlely achieved from a combination of very warm summers, mild winters and cooling sea breezes. Many of Australia`s most famous and expensive wines have their vineyard origins within this region.
Geoff Merrill was born in 1953 and was raised on a sheep station in the far north of South Australia until he was 11 years old. The Merrill family then moved to the Barossa Valley, just north of Adelaide, where Geoff`s first links with the wine industry were formed. Following his `apprenticeship` at Chateau Reynella, in 1985 he purchased the historic Mount Hurtle winery. Reknowned for his handle-bar moustache and friendship with many of crickets elite, his talents were recently rewarded when he received the legendary Jimmy Watson Trophy, probably Australia`s most prestigious wine award.
The grapes for this wine come from the McLaren Vale and Coonawarra. McLaren Vale Chardonnay usually has very good structure and flavour intensity, with herbaceous character, almost Sauvignon Blanc like, to peaches, melons and some tropical fruits. Chardonnay from Coonawarra usually has a fuller mouthfeel and greater depth of colour, the wines having very good acid structure and exceptional length. The two regions complement each other very well, resulting in this rich Burgundian style Chardonnay blended from barrels to produce a full bodied and rich complex white wine with oaky structure and a full explosive finish.
Ideal accompaniment for grilled fish and seafood salad.