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08/06/2008

Schroeder Estate (Argentina) Merlot 2006
Those readers following my current, three-part profile of Argentina will note that part III focuses on Patagonia, the wild and remote region on the edge of Argentina's ice fields, 650 miles south of Mendoza, that is one of the most exciting in South America. There are relatively few Patagonian wines in the UK as yet, so I am delighted to pinpoint this one from one of the region's best estates, Familia Schroeder. It is an abolutely cracking Merlot, brimming with cedary, spicy, coffee and mocha-edged black fruit, and with a mouth-filling richness of sweet berry fruit, layered with chunky, chocolaty tannins and infused with tobacco and smoky oak. With a nice edge of cherryish acidity adding a little cut and definition, this really is a beautiful, quite sumptuous style of Merlot. Even better, whilst at it's regular price of 9.99 it would be highly recommendable, a 12-bottle case is on offer during June at 75.95 - that's only 6.33 per bottle and an absolute steal for this quality. Schroeder's fine Pinot Noir is also on offer at 6.66 equivalent. Both from Laithwaites.