Monday 17 November 2014

Cherry Tree Hill Merlot - Rymill Coonawarra Sauvignon Blanc


David Ellis

COOL surprise from the NSW Southern Highlands
ideal with barbecued steak and mushrooms.
IF you're one of those re-discovering the joys of Merlot after it seemed to go out of fashion for a time, a stunning drop worth investing in by phone or internet is a 2011 'Halle' Reserve from Cherry Tree Hill in the cool-climate NSW Southern Highlands.

This small maker that began growing grapes in 2000 on the  30-year old family farm at Sutton Forest, is making a big impression on the local scene, and while its wines are currently available only by phone or online you can be sure it'll become a major player when a cellar door currently under construction opens before Christmas.

Gabi Lorentz and his family established Cherry Tree Hill farm after arriving here from Hungary in the 1980s, and today son David manages the vineyards and oversees all aspects of the winery operation – with wines themselves made by highly-respected local contract makers Anton and Mark Balog. The 2011 Halle Reserve Merlot has blueberry fruit-like flavours, and interesting Hungarian oak hints make it a more-ish drop to enjoy with barbecued steak and mushrooms, or bacon wrapped prawns.

Pay $32 a bottle, less 10% for six or 20% for 12, plus $12 freight for any number of bottles; go to or phone David Lorentz on 0414 366 000.

THINK lime-marinated prawns
with this Sauvignon Blanc.
ONE TO NOTE: ITS forty years ago that Peter Rymill and his wife Judy Ritchie founded Rymill Coonawarra in the heartland of this famous wine growing region, a region that in fact Peter's great-grandfather, John Riddoch founded back in 1890 after arriving here from Scotland during the Gold Rush of 1852.

Today Rymill Coonawarra needs no introduction to those who enjoy quality wines, and one that particularly impressed recently was their 2014 Yearling Sauvignon Blanc – not just because of its wonderfully full-on fruit flavours, but because of the price-tag of just $15.95.

Tropical fruits like passionfruit and paw paw dominate, together with grapefruit and lime, an enjoyable flintiness and nice varietal zesty finish. Enjoy it with Chief Winemaker, Sandrine Gimon's suggestion of grilled lime-marinated prawns.

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