Penley Estate Gryphon Merlot 2009
Merlot from Coonawarra, Australia
Deep ruby red in color with a bright hue. The bouquet is rich and complex with hints of violets, plums, a touch of spice and savory fruitcake elements. The French oak is restrained and well integrated. Medium-bodied with a strong mid palate of mulberry and savory forest underbrush flavors. The texture is soft with integrated smoky vanilla French oak, finishing with a refined smooth tannin structure.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Spicy red berries, rose and herbs on the nose. Light-bodied, refreshingly bitter strawberry and cherry flavors are silky and precise in a pinot-like way, with a hint of mint on the back half. A fairly refined merlot that finishes with gentle sweetness and very good smoky persistence. I wish that more New World merlots had this wine's sweetness and light touch. "
Penley Estate Winery
Established in 1988, by Kym Tolley, a direct descendant of the famous Penfold and Tolley winemaking families – the name Penley is an amalgam of the first three and last three letters from each title.
Tolley has over 25 years of winemaking experience, including being involved in the making of many vintages of the famous Penfolds Grange. The estate is located in the heart of Coonawarra, with the vines planted in the famed "terra rossa" soils – bright red top-soils overlaying soft free-draining limestone.
Critically acclaimed as one of Coonawarra's leading estates, and voted as one of the International Wineries of the Year 2001 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, while the Reserve Cabernet voted best wine of Coonawarra 2001, as judged by winemaking peers and critics.
The Penley Estate signature style comprises distinct, precise, terrior driven wines – not overly oaked or excessively alcoholic. They display ripe clean fruit with true regional character – the senior wines will age for many years. View all Penley Estate Wines
About CoonawarraView a map of Coonawarra wineries
Located on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, Coonawarra is quite flat, except for the vineyards, which are slightly elevated. That, along with the proximity to the ocean and frequent cloud cover, Coonawarra never gets too hot. There is a small strip of soil, about nine miles long and two miles wide, called Terra Rossa, or red earth. It is the coveted place to plant Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon in this small region.
Notable FactsCabernet Sauvignon is the grape of choice here. There is a good amount of Shiraz planted as well, and blends of the two are popular. Cabernet grown in the Terra Rossa shows a sense of place, and the wines are in high demand. The wine is elegant in structure, with prominent acidity and firm tannins, while being full of ripe fruit flavors typical of Australia's style.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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