Merlot Coonawarra South Australia
McWilliam's are one of the largest landholders in Coonawarra, with more than three hundred hectares of the choicest properties under vine, including the exhalted Laira Vineyard, established by Captain Stentiford in 1893 atop the Coonawarra's splendid Terra rossa heartland. Eric Brand, one of the earliest patrons of the Coonawarra, became the custodian of the vineyard more than half a century later. Expressing all the distinctive regional highlights of Coonawarra, Brand's Laira is a Merlot of exceptional quality, softness and approachability.
Following harvest and the crush, juices are vinified over a period of several days on their skins in headed down, steel fermenters, pumped over twice daily to ensure maximum extraction of colour and flavour. Once pressed off skins while still slightly sweet (approximately 2 baume), the wine was pumped to a selection of new and seasoned French and American oak barrels to finish primary and malolactic fermentation. Upon completion, the wine was racked off its lees and pumped back into refreshed barrels for maturation. During the first six months of ageing, barrels are racked by hand to achieve the required clarity and to assist in the wine's development.
Dark crimson red. A deeply perfumed nose displaying blackcurrant and plum, complemented by vanilla and cedar aromas derived from oak maturation. The rich, rounded palate showcases vibrant plum and dark berry fruits. Elegant mocha, vanilla and dusty oak characters complement the fruit on the palate. Great length with good varietal character and rich, ripe flavour concentration, the finish is long with fine, silky tannins adding length. A luscious drink now proposition that will also improve from cellaring.