Wren Estate

The Grape Varieties in Wren Estate – Heathcote Merlot


Merlot and Merlot Historical Background


Merlot is now the second most widely planted grape varietal in the world. It was originated in Bordeaux, France, given by its farther – Cabernet Franc, and its mother, which is no longer commercially planted, called Magdeleine Noir des Charentes.


Merlot has, sometimes, either been considered the best variety to making high-volume, commercial wines or blending with other grape varieties bringing more tannins and thereby increasing the texture. Recently, a truth proved by many winemakers worldwise is that Merlot doesn’t need to be blended to show its beauty, it is, however, capable of making multi-styled wines with either fresh and bright feel or powerful and rich texture.

Merlot Characteristics


Merlot, as we mentioned, is usually used in both single varietal wines and blending wines. It’s a dark blue colour grape variety mostly grown in moderate and warm climates. The wine made with a single merlot variety typically is in a dry style, medium acidity and medium tannins. At the same time, its primary characteristics highly depend on the ripeness of the grape.


For instance, just-ripe merlot produces below, or just medium-bodied wines are showing more red fruit flavours on the nose and palate (strawberry, red plum and herbaceous plants etc.). When Merlot grape in a riper condition,  they’re able to produce wines with a more decadent body style (medium to full) and even some cooked-black-fruit flavours. This riper style is typically grown in a warmer climate, but it’s also possible to do that in a moderate climate with the method of later harvesting.

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Merlot in Wren Estate


Merlot in Wren Estate is versatile. The most well-known wine made with Merlot is the estate Merlot which has won the Best Red Wine in the Heathcote Wine Show 2019. The cool nights in the vineyard of Wren Estate bring out the freshness and brightness to its flavours, while the warm days allow Wren’s Merlot being deep, weighty and coming with fine and soft tannins. It’s one of the most memorable and excellent wines produced across Heathcote region.

Apart from the Estate Merlot, Merlot in Wren’s vineyard has made a beautiful Rosé. From Michael Wren’s (our dear winemaker/owner) perspectives, Merlot, the varietal with powerful mid-palate, is perfect for Rosé wine. The variety naturally brings lots of softness, prettiness and smoothness into our estate Rosé,  while the early-picked process brings extra freshness and brightness, and a clear acidity following up. The 12-hours of skin contact adds more texture and flavours into the Rosé, leading to a more structural mouthfeel and a long finish. All these characteristics attribute a beautiful, balanced and easy-drinking Rosé in Wren Estate.

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