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Kirralaa Merlot 2001

  • WS87
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

New Release! The intensity from the famed "Terra Rossa" soils of our extensive vineyard holdings in Coonawarra achieves harmony and balance in our Merlot when we add a dash of our warmer climate Clare Valley Merlot. A final splash of our hearty, tightly-structured Coonawarra Cabernet adds a bolt of strength to the blend and makes the package complete.

A joint venture between Robert Mondavi and Rosemount Estate, Kirralaa Merlot was blended by Tim Mondavi, Philip Shaw and Ian Shepherd.

"Coonawarra is one of the best areas for Merlot. It's continental climate produces vibrant fruit characters that have considerable palate weight. We couldn't reist putting a very stong parcel of Clare Valley Merlot in the blend - this added some sweet fruit to the mid-palate and rounded the wine off nicely. Merlot should have a syrup-like texture with plump, soft tannin. Hopefully we have achieved that."
-winemaker Ian Shepherd

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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Kirralaa

Kirralaa

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Kirralaa, Australia
A partnership in winemaking between California's Robert Mondavi and Australia's Rosemount Estate, Kirralaa is one of the two labels produced by this joint venture. Adopting a rule that neither company was allowed to work in its own backyard, Kirralaa was made in Australia by the Mondavi team lead by winemaker Tim Mondavi.

An Australian word for star, Kirralaa (wines) "break the status quo" in winemaking and display bold colors, stunning, rich flavors, and unmatched varietal complexity and refinement. Farmed in the finest regions of Australia: Coonawarra, Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale.

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Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country with incredibly diverse terrain, producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry conditions and those in coastal areas receiving tropical, maritime or Mediterranean weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety; Barossa Valley leads the way, producing exceptionally bold and supple versions. Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia's second most planted variety, can be blended with Shiraz but also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône Blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version and Semillon is often blended in Margaret River or shines on its own in the Hunter Valley. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria.

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Merlot

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot can be made into a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the best wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly from California’s Napa Valley.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

HEI3689106_2001 Item# 56118