Wrattonbully may not yet have the high profile of nearby Coonawarra, but it is producing some outstanding fruit for labels like Smith & Hooper, part of the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards/Yalumba empire. This has a lot more going on than many of its Australian merlot rivals, the terra rossa soil producing flavoursome and vibrant red wines. This is a hand-picked, single-vineyard wine full of the youthful vigour of a yearling colt. There is a freshness here with briary, bright berry and dark chocolate flavours to the fore with apparently minimal oak. It is such a pity that a wine that shines in its youth is bottled under notoriously fallible cork, although the sample bottle was fine. The RRP here is in the high twenties but I've seen this wine on special for a few dollars less. At that price you'd snap it up. $27. www.smithandhooper.com.