There were four of us tasting a small batch of reds, not one of us particularly enamoured of soft and simple merlots. That this wine stood out from the crowd is a tribute to former Katnook Estate winemaker Wayne Stehbens, who died a couple of months ago. The range is named after the original land holding of John Riddoch, the founder of Coonawarra wine region. This stands out with its intensity and structure; on the opposite side of the spectrum to some of the sweet and wimpy merlots that are still being made. Medium-bodied with dark berry and plum notes and some perky spice, it has excellent structure with French and American oak adding to the picture. Available at Dan Murphy’s and at selected independent retailers Australia wide. Terrific value for $20. www.katnookestate.com.au.