Geoff Merrill Wines - ‘...charming characters’ : 1 June 2024.

Geoff Merrill has been crafting wines under his own label & name since 1980, with his first wines released in 1983, that included a 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 1981 Semillon. Geoff had very supportive business partners during the early years, but since 2007 Geoff has been the sole owner of the company and continues to develop and craft exceptional wines.
Geoff Merrill Wines is a true family operation, with those values and the next generation working in the business. From day one, and at the heart of these Geoff wines is a philosophy of ‘balance’ - plus a deliberate focus to make 'aged' wines more accessible to all. The following wines are not from my private cellar... - these are recent - current vintages. The 2020 Chardonnay and the 2015 Shiraz reviewed below, have only just been released in Australia and select international markets and soon across New Zealand.
Geoff is renowned for his outstanding and ever so varietal wine, sourcing premium quality fruit in vintage years from Coonawarra and McLaren Vale. Both areas have individual growing conditions which provide exciting opportunities to showcase physiologically ripe grapes. As the winery logo suggests - in each wine, Geoff and Scott Heidrich (senior winemaker) are looking for the ideal ‘balance’ of fruit, vineyard site, growing season, along with making diligent and respectful choices in the winery to showcase these in harmony - or in ‘perfect balance’.

NB: Do keep a keen eye out for ‘older’ vintages, as they can be found in Australia and New Zealand - all ready to sip, savour & share.

Geoff Merrill ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2020 : 5 Stars ★★★★★
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Regions: 51% Coonawarra & 49% McLaren Vale
Winemakers: Geoff Merrill & Scott Heidrich

As with previous vintages, around 4 months after harvest Geoff and Scott undergo a blind tasting to select the best barrels from their Coonawarra and McLaren Vale vineyards that make the grade for this generous Chardonnay. These are then blended and returned to new French oak hogsheads for another 12 months maturation, before tasting and bottling.
Inviting aromas of grilled peaches, nectarines along with a note of citrus, pop-corn, cashew and vanilla toast. These all carry onto the engaging palate that has a full tool box of flavours which confidently engage your senses. And all nicely balanced by a good splash of fruit acidity. There is a vibrancy from the Coonawarra parcel, which is complimented by the McLaren Vale fruit, keeping everything in line and focused. The deft oak adds breadth, complexity and a fine texture, elevated by the wines natural acidity giving a memorable finish.

• Chill gently & serve at 8°- 10°C : 13% Alc. : Classic Dry Style : Cellar 5 - 6 years : *NZ$45.00

Geoff Merrill ‘Reserve’ Shiraz 2015 : 5 Stars ★★★★★
Grape Varietal: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: McLaren Vale - South Australia
Winemakers: Geoff Merrill & Scott Heidrich

Around 14 months after harvest, Geoff and Scott undertake blind tastings to selected barrels from their McLaren Vale vineyards to see which make the grade for this character Shiraz. Blended together and returned to new & seasoned American & French oak hogsheads & puncheons for another 18 months maturation, before tasting & bottling.
On the inviting nose you have mixed black fruits, violets and dried spice aromas, leading to cedar, cloves and vanilla-smoke notes. The palate is confident and engaging showcasing those ripe berry fruits supported by integrated oak giving a fine grained textural character and well defined firm tannins from ripe fruit and meticulous barrel development. The palate is well structured with perfectly balanced by natural acidity giving an energy to this broad, multi-layered wine, with its rich character and a smooth lingering dry finish.

• Respectful decanting : Serve at 17°- 18°C : 14.5% Alc. : Classic Dry Style : Cellar 8 - 10 years : *NZ$59.00

These balanced aged wines are available from Fine Wine Retailers • Restaurants • Wine Bars & Winery Website.
*(prices, vintages & availability will vary by outlet & country)

Recent Geoff Merrill Wine Reviews :