Three Ponds Merlot 2021
- Hunter Valley -
Our first merlot since 2018, as drought and bushfires precluded making this wine in 2019 and 2020. Open fermentation then maturation in French oak. Bright red with medium intensity. Displays aromas of sour cherry, currants, tobacco and spice.
Vineyard Holman Estate, Pokolbin
Winemaker Mark Richardson
An easygoing, gulpable, lighter-weight expression. Red plum, Asian medicine and some dusty oak accents careen long. Root spice and orange zest, at the seams. Chill this and drink with relish.
Ned Goodwin MW – wine companion – 89/100
Hunter Merlot may not be a region and variety we see as a regular combo, but this is a fine example from the Holman Estate vineyard at Pokolbin. Vibrant crimson in colour, the nose gives us notes of plums, strawberries, dusty earth and a hint of Christmas cake. More prosaically, a varietally correct Merlot, if you prefer. This is a savoury style with good grip and decent length with fine, if firm, tannins. Drink for six years.
Ken Gargett Winepilot – 90 Points
Merlot a rare site in the Hunter
Merlot is becoming increasingly rare in the Hunter Valley. The varietal is named after the blackbird, merle in French and merlo in Italian. One imagines that blackbirds must like eating this grape! Holman Estate merlot remains one of the best examples of this varietal in the Hunter Valley albeit only 2.6 acres are planted. On deep, rich volcanic soils, these vines are now almost 30 years old and produce smart table wines.