Wine review: There's merit in a well-made merlot

MERLOT can be much derided. From the oft quoted film Sideways to many experiences with some less than exciting middle-of-the road wines, merlot hasn't always had a good profile. But the grape can produce complex, long-lived wines, especially from the "right bank" chateaus of Bordeaux: think Petrus and Cheval Blanc in the Pomerol region.

Cumulus Wines, Climbing, Orange, 2014:

Stewing spice plums and cloves. Almost maraschino cherry and some soft kid skin leather notes. All this seems dark, but the aroma is lifted and perfumed. Medium bodied. Available from major retailers. Rating: 8/10 RRP: $24 Alc: 13.3%

TarraWarra Estate, K Block, Yarra Valley, 2014:

Perfectly ripe plum fruit with soft blackberry preserve and aromatic dark cherry. Carries a highlight of smooth cola and baked shortcrust tart. Fine but robust tannins. Available from Rating: 9.5/10 RRP: $35 Alc: 13.5%

Ruckus Estate, Mérité, Wrattonbully, 2013:

Soft milky coffee, warmed plums, toasted cinnamon, sweet cedar, protein/meaty/whole bunch feral notes but tempered by pretty purple flowers. Bright mulberry and boysenberry added to the well-judged oak sweetness gives this a creamy, "Drumstick" ice cream kind of feel. The alcohol is kept in check: listed at 13.5%. Very limited release. Rating: 9/10 RRP: $45 Alc: 13.5%

Topics:  review weekend magazine wine words

Raising money for the roof at Lawrence

DONOR PLEA: Vice-president of Lawrence Museum, Roz Jones, looks up from the mezzanine level of the new building, which needs a roof .

Museum needs help to finish building

Investor interest in $1.175m Iluka property

HIGH END: The two near new flats, a part of the property for sale at 80 Charles St, Iluka.

80 Charles St boasts potential for growth

Valla search unable to find missing swimmer

An aerial view of Valla Beach.

Hopes of finding swimmer who went missing at Valla Beach are fading.

Local Partners

Cost of having children soaring sky high

PARENTS-TO-BE have been warned that it’s now more expensive than ever to bring a child into the world, and competition among parents is driving up the price.

These are the sex capitals of Australia

Sex is in demand.

Data reveals surprise Australian suburbs where people want sex the most

Aussie couple road tests hotels by having sex in them

Justin and Jess have revealed their steamy hotel experiences.

They won a comp to share stories of getting lucky in hotel rooms

‘I have slept with 100 people’

The documentary is one person’s quest to track down their 100 past sexual encounters

Documentary counts down one person’s full list of sexual encounters

Pregnant Erin Molan hospitalised

Erin Molan has been announced as the new host of the Footy Show. Picture: Jonathan Ng

She collapsed, hitting her head on the ground

Botched jump led to years of hell

Hilary Judith nearly died in a skydiving accident. But that was only the start of the trauma.

Her body was reliving the accident, over and over again