British critic Sarah Ahmed said (of the 2013 vintage) “...a cut above any Australian Merlot I’ve tasted and a good many from elsewhere too.” This is Mérite’s (formerly ‘Ruckus Estate’) flagship wine - a rare top-tier Australian Merlot that graces the wines lists of many of the country’s finest eateries. New French clones and daring New World winemaking come together to make something here that Phillip White writes “...would knock deep silence into some very famous château owners in Pomerol and Saint-Émilion.
Mérite wines hail from Wrattonbully - the “Right Bank” to Coonawarra’s “Left” if you will follow the Bordeaux Cabernet/Merlot comparison. Certainly this is Australian Merlot of the highest character.
The vineyard's planting of five merlot clones (including 8R and Q45) is capable of producing very high quality wine. If you want to go nitpicking, the French oak (40% new) is a touch too obvious, but it will almost certainly diminish with age, It raises the question whether 30% new oak might have done an even better job. That said, the '14 had 50%. The mouthfeel, weight and flavours of cassis, plum and herb have a base of exquisite tannins.
96 points, James Halliday (February 2017)
Bright, juicy, fruit-filled and savoury at once. It’s all laced together with ultra-fine tannin too. We are in pretty classy terrain here. Shaved pencils, black cherries, boysenberries, redcurrant. None of the dreaded mulberry. Flings of earth. It’s super succulent and beautifully balanced. It almost feels like it’s been painted in watercolours too, almost always a good sign, though there’s just a bit more oomph than those words commonly imply. That said, it’s a steadfastly medium-bodied wine, with no pretensions for anything more. Ruckus Estate is fast putting itself on the wine map. Just look at the tannin structure of this wine.
94 points, Campbell Mattinson (August 2017)