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by Fred McMillin
for August 2002

Wine

 

How Good Are Those Australian Merlots?

"I see a lot of Australian Merlots at low prices. How good are they?"

—Bob Henning , Merlot fan

 

THE ANSWER

To find out, we paired nine Australian Merlots under $16 with California bottles of the same vintage and price. Edgar Vogt wrapped the bottles for the blind tasting, and here is the winner of each pair. The highest-rated winner is listed last. That is, the further you read, the better the wine.

THE WINNING MERLOTS
Australia Versus California

    Rank—Region—Wine

    9th—California—$11 1996 Robert Mondavi Coastal

    8th—Australia—$14 1998 Barwang, Coonawarra, Importer—Geyser Peak

    7th—Australia—$8 1999 Alice White, Importer—Canandaigua

    6th—California—$10 1999 Fetzer Eagle Peak

    5th—Australia—$9 1999 Barwang, Importer—Geyser Peak

    4th—California—$10 1998 Monterra, Monterey

    3rd—Australia—$10 2001 Yangarra Park, Importer—Kendall-Jackson

    2nd—California—$15 1997 Charles Mitchell, El Dorado

    1st—California—$9 2000 Bogle

CONCLUSION

The imports from DOWN UNDER won four of the nine matches, and were less expensive by nearly a dollar a bottle. TRY 'EM!

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created August 2002

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