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  • Writer's pictureLushmuddled

Lauren Langfield Norton Summit Merlot 2021


Adelaide Hills, SA

Lauren Langfield Merlot

Have you heard of Lauren Langfield? She is a Kiwi-expat who has a degree in winemaking, started her own consultancy agency in Australia and has worked with some of the big names in lo-fi winemaking - Bill Downie, Brendan Keyes, Gareth Belton - and is now head winemaker at Orbis. She apparently had some spare time on her hands, so started her own label. Don't I feel inadequate all of a sudden...

Merlot. It has a bit of a reputation. Part of it is because of the movie Sideways and part of it is because, well, Aussie Merlot generally isn't the best. But Langfield has joined the ranks of winemakers trying to rectify that. This particular wine saw 40% whole bunches during ferment before being sent off to neutral oak for 8 months, with minimal sulphur additions.

With the high portion of whole bunches, I was expecting something a bit lighter in colour. This is dark. A pure, deep purple. The perfume is all about mulberries - the kind that stain your fingers when the juice gets onto them. There are strawberries too, and raspberries. Basically all the berries. Some savouriness comes through as it opens up - a bit of cinnamon, a dash of clove - and all those berries give way to some intense blood plum. It has depth, too, with well controlled gravelly tannins framing juicy plum, dark cherries, sage and liquorice. There is a wet rock aspect to as well, with a long, savoury finish. It just makes me think about foraging for wild berries in wet, rocky highlands. The purity here is striking. This is a proper Merlot and great value. It's available online here.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Classic, Weird or Funky? This is classic. It would make a Bordeaux drinker very happy indeed.

Have it with? I feel like a good, hearty roast or stew is in order here.

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