Penley Estate Gryphon Merlot 2006
Merlot from Coonawarra, Australia
The 2006 Gryphon Merlot expresses distinctive Coonawarra fruit with its luscious aromas, rich palate and refined, silky tannin structure. This medium bodied Merlot is loaded with regional personality and amazing finesse. The bouquet is complex with spicy berry and floral notes integrated with hints of smoky vanilla oak. On the palate, rich red berry flavors are framed by velvety tannins. Drink now or cellar further to garner additional complexity.
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Exotically perfumed nose displays sexy raspberry, blackberry, Asian spice and incense scents. Juicy red berry and cherry flavors are complemented by subtle mocha and succulent herb notes, with silky tannins adding shape. Finishes with outstanding energy and clinging red fruit character. This is already delicious, and delivers impressive depth and clarity for the price, especially for this often disappointing variety."
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 a pretty flat area, except for the vineyards, which are somewhat elevated. That, along with the proximity to the ocean and clouds that like to hang around, 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 soil/earth. It is the coveted place to plant Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon in this small region.
Notable FactsCabernet Sauvignon is actually the grape of choice here. There is a good amount of Shiraz planted as well, and blends of the two are popular, but 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, but 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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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