Maker: McWilliams Hanwood Estate, New South Wales, Australia
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Merlot 2006 is another example of the inexpensive but tasty red in McWilliams' Hanwood Estate Line. We found it on sale for a mere $8, and it was difficult to pass up. Its nose is licorice and berry, and it has plum, clove, vanilla, and oak notes on the palate. The wine is well balanced, and the finish is relatively complex.
We last tried the 2003 version of McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Merlot, and scored it a rare "9" - either our standards have gradually shifted, or the 2003 was an exceptional year for this wine.
The McWilliams Wines indicates that McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Merlot 2006 has already won a couple of silver medals - one at the 2008 Monterey Wine Competition and one at the 2008 Florida State Fair. Of the McWilliams wines we've tasted lately, our favorite remains the 2005 Shiraz. This Merlot might be a close second, though.