Australia's Best Syrah

Adam Foster and Gary Mills
Young Gun of Wine
Wines Of Merritt Syrah 2020

This made the top-six lists of both Mills and Foster. “Enticing smoky nose, with a jumble of mixed red fruit, think wild strawberry and raspberries,” wrote Foster. “Very chewy tannin, whole bunch like, sappy and firm, a baby of a wine with meaty complexity and depth. Needs time to gel, as its power needs to soften to the fruit, but I’d love to see this wine with five plus years.” Boysenberry forest fruits,” wrote Mills. “Coal-dust medium-weight tannins. Silky palate, well weighted. Some woodsmoke. Generous in its dimensions, opening up very well with later tasting, rich dark and engaging.”


Wine Front: 92 Points

James Suckling
Wines Of Merritt Sauvignon Blanc 2018
92 Points

This is a very appealing style that delivers such intensity of lime, passion-fruit and green-mango aromas and flavors with a streak of fresh herbs, too. The zesty, chalky texture is bang on and the power of Margaret River fruit is on full show. All at just 11.5% alcohol, too. Wow!


James Suckling: 91 Points

James Suckling
Wines Of Merritt Vermentino 2018
91 Points

A small make of textural and fresh dry white that has a gently waxy nose with pear and lemon aromas. Smooth palate with bright, green-pear and almond-pastry flavours and a fresh, fine finish. Drink now.

 


James Suckling: 92 Points

James Suckling
Wines of Merritt Chenin Blanc 2018
92 Points

A complex style with fresh lemon-zest and chamomile aromas, as well as lightly toasted almonds. The palate has a rich, smooth and soft texture, thanks to barrel fermentation (20% new) and the preserved-lemon and lemon-pastry flavours hold long and fresh. Delicious Chenin.

 


James Suckling: 93 Points

James Suckling
Wines of Merritt Cabernet Franc 2018
93 Points

A small run that has such elegant, pure redcurrants on the nose, leading to a gently assertive, bright red-berry palate that has smooth, even shape and a long, succulent finish. Intensity meets elegance here. Drink now.

 


Wine Front: 90 Points

Wine Front:
Wines of Merritt Chenin Blanc 2017
90 Points

Some very interesting and good wines coming out of this project. Seems to be a bent for textural, savoury whites. Here’s a good example.

Lemon and sea spray scents, faint cashew, whiff of fennel. Palate is a little weak in flavour though you do get a whisper of similar things to the bouquet, with a nice nutty slide to finish. Texture is great too, quite dense and silky, despite the watercolour fruit flavours. Good, finer expression, you could say.


Wine Front: 93 Points

Wine Front:
Wines Of Merritt Vermentino 2017
93 Points

Not a lot of detail on this start up wine biz, but the backbone is the Nick James-Martin and Sarah James-Martin combo working with small batch stuff out of Margaret River. This here white sees a natural ferment and hangs out on lees. It’s a compelling argument to elevate vermentino from soda-with-squeeze-of-lime styles into something better. And to work with more of it in Margaret River. And look at that alcohol!

Quality wine in anyone’s books, shows intensity of fruit character, steely-minerally acidity, faint savoury complexity, freshness of inherent pear/green apple/cucumber fruit characters. Ripper drink above all else but there’s plenty of nuance in the mix too. Stains the palate gently with tang fruit flavours, finishes long, cool, herby, sparkling. Lots to like here, no brainer for an uptown wine experience.


Wine Front: 94 Points

Wine Front:
Wines of Merritt Cabernet Franc 2018
94 Points

Only 25 dozen made, and sold out. But on the off chance you bought some, I’m happy to cater for minority groups.

Cabernet Franc, when grown and made properly, can be such a wonderful grape. Black fruit, violet, sweet grass and bay leaf, five spice and cocoa. Medium-bodied, brambly and perfumed, fleshy and supple, red and black fruit, nougat and dried herb, freshness with weight. Finish is long and sweet and savoury too. Beauty.


Wine Front: 93 Points

Wine Front:
Wines Of Merritt Vermentino 2018
93 Points

I liked the 2017, though it was quite a bit lighter than this release, it felt. From a dynamic duo working out of Margaret River.

It’s pretty and juicy, lively and fresh-feeling, there’s added dimension in the wine, it feels, and a texture is a mouth-puckering treat. Scents of lime juice, pineapple, sea spray, with the palate slippery then crunchy to finish with more of the lime juice, a tickle of minerally mineral water and a tart, salty finish. There’s a very high refreshment factor here, good nuance of the variety, a little complexity too. It’s a good vibe all up.

 


Wine Front: 91 Points

Wine Front:
Wines of Merritt Chenin Blanc 2018
91 Points

A producer to watch from Margaret River, for me. Lots of interesting things happening in and around Nick James-Martin and these Wines Of Merritt wines.

Tangy, tightly wound Chenin of light ‘real lemonade’ character with a slightly soapy, waxy edge. Scents of lemon juice, sea spray, green herbs, green mango. Good, dry, chalky rub through the finish. Whips across the palate with a sense of freshness. A delight to drink.