Australian Merlots, and a prototype


Australia is not exactly famous for Merlot. Shiraz is of course its signature red wine grape and Cabernet Sauvignon its second most planted, producing many a seriously good example. See last week's Langton's classification for some of the most admired.

For many a decade, Australia had hardly any Merlot planted. And then in the early 1990s America went crazy for Merlot (until they were told in Sideways that Pinot Noir was much better) and growers particularly in Australia's irrigated inland wine regions planted Merlot with anticipatory enthusiasm. This century, total plantings have declined a little so that there are now...