Villa Maria Private Bin Organic Merlot 2013, $20
Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s most respected producers, regularly winning a slew of awards and being very committed to sustainability and quality. It’s taken 16 years of hard work to perfect its sustainable vineyard and winemaking practices, and one of the fruits of that labour is this beautifully smooth Merlot with lovely aromas of berries and plums, silky tannins and hints of vanilla and spice. It is Villa Maria’s first organic release in Australia, and given that a lot of consumers go to great lengths to seek out organic wines, I think it’s onto a winner with this one. It’s rich with sweet fruit and is a nice match for red meat dishes or a cheese platter.