There are only a handful of Australian merlots that I consider to be of exemplary quality - and this new release from Hamish Maguire at Shottesbrooke in McLaren Vale is firmly in that top echelon. This is flavoursome and medium-bodied with customary sweet/soft merlot fruit but alongside some texture, fine tannins and black cherry/spice interest. Estate-grown grapes provide a freshness and vibrancy on the plush palate that makes this immediately appealing - while its sub-$20 price tag marks it as a wine that over-delivers when it comes to value. You can find it at Dan Murphy's stores. $20. www.shottesbrooke.com.au.