Smith & Hooper Wrattonbully Merlot 2008
90 points - "A strongly savoury, strongly varietal wine, with no attempt whatsoever to sweetin it with oak; some years have been outstanding, this not quite so, although good. The perverse adherence to cork, suggests the US is a major market."
James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2012
“Medium bodied and fresh with soft tannins and plenty of come-hither charm. It’s hard to resist. It tastes of red fruits with a lick of vanilla and nutty oak. The balance is pretty good too though a second day’s tasting revealed a touch more alcohol heat than we’d like – which made us think it’ll be best as a youngster; not for cellaring.”
POINTS: 89 VALUE: four drops DRINK: 2010 - 2011
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh, The Big Red Wine Book 2010/2011 (Aus), 1 June 2010
"With a savoury tang of herbs and fresh leather this Wrattonbully Merlot must be one of the ultimate red wine picks from the supermarket shelves this year. Decant it to allow all of the flavours to emerge and you will be shocked at how complex and rewarding a wine of this price can be. More macho and less polished than Preece, this is a wine to fling at rare steaks and hastily thrown together salads. Al fresco, out of the blue, uninvited-but-pull-up-a-chair dining has never seemed so effortless with this eight pound wine on the table." Click here to download presenter.
Matthew Jukes, The Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines 2010
"South Australia's Wrattonbully is a popular place to grow grapes, particularly red varieties. This merlot smells of violets, plums and raspberries. Drink with Baked beans & pork belly."
Matt Skinner, BBC Australian Good Food, June 2010
"A medium-bodied red exhibiting rich raspberry flavours and a spicy finish."
John Fordham, The Sunday Telegraph (Aus), 4 April 2010
"The story: This tiny Limestone Coast region lying between the Coonawarra and Padthaway shows a real affinity with this variety, and at this price is a very smart step up from many of the lighter weight, warmer district cheapis on the market.
The flavour: There's a genuine depth of blue and purple berry flavour, marrying gently hand-led oak into a smart, nicely weighted, more serious style."
Tony Love, The Daily Telegraph - Taste (Aus), 9 March 2010
"All my ranting about the dullness of merlot falls away with this wine. Almost every maker of Merlot in Australia should go out and buy this wine to see just how the variety can work. Faint chocolate and raspberry nose sits beautifully at the front of the mouth then travels with great elegance; its such a stylish wine. 93 points and at only $18 cheap, cheap, cheap."
Tony Keys, The Key Report (Aus), February 2010
"A medium-bodied merlot from the Wrattonbully region of South Australia.
Seamless silky smooth palate with light cedar and subtle fruit-cake plum pudding characters. It's a wine ideal in the short term."
Ray Jordan, The West Australian Fresh, 14 January 2010
90 points - "One of the best-value merlot wines around at the moment, this has plenty of mulberry and blue fruits, really nicely ripened and gently complex in the glass - a vibrant wine. The palate is flavoured with violets and purple berries, tannins are fine-strung and the finish delivers a nice blue floral wave."
Nick Stock, The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2010