Harry Friend, in a reflective moment, recently advised that merlot can be a trifle capricious. He felt that in the manner of a true European grape variety, merlot tends to produce great wines every three years or so. We obtained very little merlot from the 2016 vintage and did not make any wine from this variety. By contrast, vintage 2017 is one of outstanding quality for merlot, and for other varieties as well. This has allowed Axel Friend, our winemaker, to create two splendid versions, The Athelstan Merlot (named for his grandfather who was the first generation Friend at Narkoojee) and the Four Generations Merlot, reflecting the continuing heritage of the Friend family at Narkoojee.
In late October I had the honour to represent Narkoojee at the Annual Gala Dinner of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, of which Narkoojee is a proud sponsor. Held in the Sofitel on Collins, the food was excellent, the music was wonderful and the wines, provided by Narkoojee, were very well received. The highlight among the wines undoubtedly was the 2017 Athelstan Merlot, many guests commented on its quality, with the words ‘stylish’ and ‘elegant’ being widely used.
I believe that this is a very fine wine. If you have enjoyed our Narkoojee merlots in the past, or would like to get to know them, I suggest that you order quickly. The 2017 merlots have only been released for a month but already one quarter of our stock has gone.
As many of you know, Narkoojee makes small quantities of fine pinot noir. Three years ago we undertook a new planting at Glengarry to augment our supplies, but wines from this planting are still some way off. The 2017 vintage was small but of very high quality. The 2016 Premium Pinot sold out some months ago, but the 2017 version of this wine is wonderful and is now available. With small quantities and high demand it might be all gone by Christmas. So get in now!