Four Sisters Winery Kills It Again

sistersOK, I’ll admit this isn’t really a picture of the four sisters who’re the namesakes for this Australian winery. But they look like they could kick some serious ass, just like the wines.

Four Sisters may sound like a silly, frilly little winery, but it’s got some serious chops. In fact, it was created by one of Australia’s most respected winemakers, Trevor Mast. At Mount Langhi Ghiran, Trevor produced award-winning wines that could be massive and very bold. He started his second winery so he could create a line of fun, accessible, easy-drinking wines that his daughters and their friends could enjoy.

Some of the girls got into the act, too. The eldest, Daliah, created the silhouette art that became the winery’s logo and label.

I’ve already tasted and reviewed Four Sisters Shiraz (“Great Value Second Label Shiraz”), and gave it my top rating because it drinks twice as good as it costs. This is way more than “fun, easy-drinking” wine. So I was excited to bring home the Merlot.

I gotta admit that Merlot isn’t anything like my favorite varietal, because I’ve tasted a lot of insipid stuff made in California. And the Aussies don’t usually devote a whole lot of vineyard space to this grape, favoring the mighty Shiraz instead. But this Merlot has a whole lot of style and character.

The fruit for Four Sisters Merlot 2008 comes from Victoria, which has a cooler climate than many of Australia’s wine regions. We know what cool does to grapes, right? When it’s managed correctly, it creates structure and acid in the fruit, and contributes to more intense, concentrated flavors.

The difference shows from the first sniff. I gotĀ  intense cherry and plum, with a sharp note that signals depth and structure. The palate offers gobs of rich darkĀ  berry fruit, with a hit of cocoa, vanilla and spice. The French oak isn’t overpowering — it rounds out the finish while letting the bright fruit show.

If I were you, I’d go grab a bottle or 12. And if you have any sisters (I have two), grab them too. Share a glass of this and enjoy. Cheers!

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