Let me say up front that I am no great fan of Australian merlot - but more wines like this could easily make me change my mind. Sevenhill, the Jesuit winery in the Clare Valley, has come up with a ripper here, picked ahead of the hot conditions that made 2008 so difficult for many. This is a dark, inky wine with cassis and pepper notes, soft and smooth on the palate with dark berry and Christmas Cake flavours aided by cedary oak. Nicely balanced with plenty of mouthfeel. $22.