Gartelman Joey 2014 Orange Merlot, $25
Gartelman is a Hunter Valley producer but it looked to the cooler Orange region for fruit for this classy Merlot. It has developed relationships with a number of growers there, and this is its first Merlot made from Orange fruit. The vineyard is at 630m altitude, the cool climate terroir lending an intense purple colour, dark berry notes and soft, velvety tannins. This wine won the trophy for Best Merlot at the 2015 Orange Wine Show and also took out the People’s Choice Award for most popular wine in the show. Given that it was competing with around 300 other wines, that’s some recognition, isn’t it?