Last month we reviewed the McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Shiraz which was a good Shiraz—especially for the price. And today we’re giving the Merlot from this brand a try.
Like the Shiraz, the grapes for this Merlot come from the New South Wales region in Australia, and more specifically the Riverina region within New South Wales. Riverina is produces 60% of the wine grapes from New South Wales and the first vines in this region were planted at Hanwood Estate by John James McWilliam in 1913. So, you could say that McWilliam’s has a few years of experience producing wine from this land.
I mentioned in the Shiraz review that McWilliam’s Wines tout themselves as “Australia’s most awarded winery,” and this particular Merlot has gotten a number of awards. It has recieved at least 10 silver, gold or double gold medals from various wine competitions—and that is specific to this vintage of the wine.
While not incredibly powerful, the nose from this Merlot is very enjoyable. It’s a little bit smoky, a little bit black cherry, a little bit vanilla and a little bit licorice. Although the intensity is rather soft the complexity is very good, which makes it interesting.
Similar to the nose, I would say that the palate doesn’t have strong concentration but is still very nice. It is a fruit-forward style Merlot, with abundant ripe black cherry and plum flavors. Soft, yet rich tannins give a full mouth feel but end up slightly oak-heavy on the finish.
All told, this is a tasty Merlot for the price. It is well balanced, varietally correct and complex. I gave it a solid 86 and would have given it a couple more points with more intensity & concentration. But if you prefer a Merlot that isn’t overly powerful then this would be a great choice.
Wine: McWIlliam’s Hanwood Estate
Find McWIlliam’s Hanwood Estate Merlot with Snooth