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Mud House (New Zealand) Merlot 2003
Sourced from a single vineyard of Marlborough's Wairau Valley, this wine is made with lots of work in the winery (cold soaking and hand-plunging of the skins) to maximise extraction, and it spends 10 months in a mix of new and used barrels. It has a very bright and appealing raspberry and red cherry fruitiness on the nose, that is very sweet and confiture, but with a subtle tobacco and pencil-shaving background that adds warmth and finesse. On the palate a sweet, ripe, glossy blackcurrant quality dominates, with a medium-bodied weight and good acidity giving a cherry and plum-skin freshness into the finish. Tannins are smooth and ripe, and the oak adds a toasty support to quite a supple, savoury, food-friendly wine. 11.99 NZhouseofwine.com, Eton Vintners, Everywine.co.uk