Geoff Merrill Pimpala Vineyard Cabernet Merlot 2012
The aroma shows strong earth and spice, with savoury notes and ripe developed fruit from this amazingly concentrated vintage. The palate has the tannin structure of a three year old, with the fruit development and complexity expected in a maturing classic. The mouthfeel is full and well structured with great fruit filling the scaffold and excellent acidity defining the finish.
Young Geoff Merrill was raised on a sheep station in the far north of South Australia, until his family moved to the Barossa Valley in 1964 when Geoff was just 11 years old. Unsurprisingly, this is where Geoff’s links with the wine industry were first forged.
At age 17, Geoff joined B Seppelt & Son where he embarked on a 4 year winemaking traineeship. Following this, he was lured to South Africa in 1974 with the opportunity to work as an Experimental Winemaker with Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, after which he set off to explore Europe.
Returning to Australia in late 1975, Geoff joined Chateau Reynella as Assistant Winemaker and was promoted to Senior Winemaker just 2 years later. He held this position until 1985 when he became a Consultant Winemaker for Thomas Hardy & Sons, who bought Chateau Reynella in 1982.
While working at Chateau Reynella, Geoff began to make wines under his own “Geoff Merrill” label; his first release in 1983 included a 1980 Cabernet and 1981 Semillon. With a view to establishing his own operation, Geoff purchased the beautiful, but run-down Mount Hurtle Winery in 1985 and, after restoring the property to its full potential, Geoff left Hardy’s in 1988 to embark on his own venture.
Geoff’s signature style eventually took his winemaking career to the international stage when, in 1993, he accepted a Consultant Winemaker position in Italy for UK supermarket Sainsbury, and Gruppo Italian Vini in Italy. Geoff continues to gain national and international recognition for his distinctive style of winemaking and zest for life.