I'm gonna ruffle a few feathers here with this one and go MERLOT!!! Mer-what? I know, I know, merlot hasn't got the best of reputations these days but honest to god there are some crackers out there! Often massed produced and definitely overdone in California at least it has grown out of popularity somewhat. WELL, prepare to have your mind changed in a matter of mls!!
The Leconfield Coonawarra 2018 Merlot did that for me. I haven't drunk straight merlot in AGES, probably since I watched Paul Giamatti roast it throughout the movie 'sideways'. Well, a recent trip to SA wine tasting and not going to Leconfield was heavily chastised by my buddy Dan over at winedirect.com.au - so much so he shipped me a bottle of their Merlot to prove Merlot is great and to show me what I was missing by not popping in to the winery!
Merlot is a super versatile grape to pair with food but goes especially well with grilled meats. So, when I was whipping this up the other night I figured let's crack open another bottle (I bought 6 after he sent the freebie!) and give it a go. Melt in your mouth perfection. Yep, that was the lamb but boy did the Merlot compliment it well. A medium to full-bodied wine that drinks great now after a little time in the decanter but will develop outstandingly over time (hence me picking up 6). Ripe plums, mint, a little chocolate (who doesn't love choc!), blackcurrant, and firm enough tannins. Oak is present, but to me there is an elegance and finesse to the wine. My recommendation is to decant for 30 minutes to open it up and try your very best not to open a 2nd.