Botham Merrill Willis is a successful partnership between premier winemaker Geoff Merrill and cricketing legends Sir Ian Botham and Bob Willis. Because who wouldn’t want a knight on their side when they go into battle with the rest of the Vale (and Coonawarra, to boot)? Well, let the cricketing puns be unleashed!
Without a hint of spin, this seven year old cabernet has a decent innings left in it. A full century is doubtful but a good start is ensured thanks to Geoff’s deft touch. All the classic dark berry and blackcurrant that exude cabernet at large, plus distinctive espresso and black olive notes that scream McLaren Vale, despite there being a generous amount (45%) of Coonawarra cab in here. Rounded out with Mint Slice chocolate gives a very more-ish wine for any and every time cheese is on the table.
I could spin things further but I wouldn’t want to make a silly point. So I guess that’s stumps.
Full price $40.00 from the producer on 21 February 2020.
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It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- McLaren Vale
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Serving Temp.
McLaren Vale is a region that lives in the shadow of the hype of the Barossa. While it has played on Shiraz as its drawcard, and continues to battle (quite rightly) with the supreme power of the Barossa, perhaps the most exciting wines from this region are its old vine Grenache and Mataro (Mourvedre/Monastrell - whatever you want to call it), and its more recent foray into Spanish and Italian varietals. Both the sun's warmth and the reliable salty afternoon gully breeze make the climate closer to Mediterranean than many other Aussie regions, and some of the Fiano, Vermentino, Tempranillo and Sangiovese from here are sublime (to name only a few). Awareness, proper consideration and sense of place are key attributes to the region's success, and its recent win against urbanisation reinforces the value of the viticultural region.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Traditional roast lamb
- 2kg leg of lamb, fat trimmed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1.5kg chat potatoes
- Basic gravy (makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups):
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Lightly grease roasting pan. Place lamb in pan. Combine oil, rosemary and garlic in a bowl. Rub half the oil mixture over lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Roast lamb, basting with remaining oil mixture every 20 minutes, for 1 hour 15 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Add potatoes to pan for last 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
- Remove lamb from oven. Cover loosely with foil. Stand for 10 minutes. Carve. Serve with potatoes.
- Basic Gravy: Transfer meat (and any vegetables) to a plate to rest. Combine stock and wine in a jug. Skim fat from roasting pan, leaving 1 1/2 tablespoons pan juices and fat in pan. Place pan over high heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles and becomes golden. Add juices from resting meat. Slowly add stock mixture to pan, stirring constantly. Cook, scraping pan, for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...