Recently, I have tasted Merchant’s Lair, a wine estate that located in Adelaide Hills, Southern Australia. I seemed to find an alternative Australian wine style. Mr. Leung, a Hong Konger owner of the wine estate, who did not like wine during young ages because of its sour and pucker taste. Until a highly respected wine expert gave him a type of wine, he was eventually amazed that wine could be so attractive. Then he recorded the wine name sneakily, and searched it at every wine store in Hong Kong. However, the wine that Mr. Leung’s desperate for, was not able to be discovered, even one of the wine owners claimed its value is equal to his whole stocks. You might want to know what is that wine? It was Chateau Petrus 1961, a legendary fine wine which scored 100 marks from Robert Parker, which market price is near to 100,000 HKD. The Chateau Petrus 1961 is difficult to be discovered at the wine market, you can afford the price but you might not have the chance to own it. Since then Mr. Leung has obsessed with Merlot, and he found that the quality of Merlot at the Adelaide Hills has been premium. Until an Italian wine-making family immigrated to Australia and sought cooperation with Mr. Leung, and he investigated their vineyards meticulously. The report indicated that the texture and the minerality (Especially Iron) of the clay from the Italian wine family’s vineyard is similar to the vineyards of Chateau Petrus in Pomerol. Thus, he decided to invest the winery and has been eager to make the best Australian Merlot!
I talked to Mr. Leung that the highly respected wine expert enlightened him. I did not know this enlightenment loved him or harmed him, and Mr. Leung laughed indulgently. Amongst the types of business owned by Mr. Leung, wine is the only one that losing money. However, Mr. He said constantly drinking with wine made him feel optimistic and young, so he has been more happy to deal with the wine estate. A setback may turn out to be a blessing in disguise! Now His wishes the wine estate can pass to his future generation with break-even point! It was glad for me to meet such a person with huge devotion on wine-making, so I hope he could succeed on making some good wines and making a good fortune!
The Merlot 2012 of Merchant’s Lair is perfumed with attractive red berries, with a well balance among the acidity, fruity and tannins. The smooth chocolate notes and the velvety texture of the Merlot is as elegant as a European great wine, so it is not same as the typical Australian wine!
筆者最近試來自南澳省阿德萊德山區 (Adelaide Hills) 的Merchant’s Lair，彷佛找到來自澳洲的另類風味，酒莊主人是來自香港的梁先生，他年青時對葡萄酒並無好感，害怕其酸澀口感，直到遇上高人給他喝了一款酒，驚歎原來葡萄酒可以如此吸引，偷偷把酒的名字記下來，在香港的酒舖遍尋不獲，其中一家酒舖老闆告訴他知否這瓶酒極難找，其價值一瓶可抵得他全間店的存貨，這瓶到底是甚麼酒？原來是1961的Chateau Petrus，派克評100分的世紀佳釀，這酒現時市價約值接近十萬元，正是有錢也不一定可買到，自此以後梁先生迷上了以梅洛為主的葡萄酒，他發現阿德萊德山區的梅洛質量甚佳，直至有一移民澳洲的義大利釀酒家族與他相談合作，他細心研究他們的葡萄田，數據顯示那片葡萄田的黏土性質與礦物含量（特別是鐵）與Pomerol的Chateau Petrus的葡萄田不相伯仲，所以便投資在此並全力釀造澳洲最佳梅洛！
我跟他說，當年那位高人請他喝Chateau Petrus令他開竅，不知是愛他還是害他，梁先生哈哈大笑，說他做的生意當中惟有葡萄酒是有蝕冇賺，不過越做越開心，經常喝葡萄酒令他心情開朗，人也年青了，正是塞翁失馬，焉知非福！現在心願希望這酒莊留給子孫時可做到收支平衡便心滿意足矣！面對此有心人，惟有望他發達釀好酒也！Merchant’s Lair 的Merlot 2012 聞香時紅莓果香吸引，入口酸、果與單寧的平衡甚佳，有柔滑如巧克力，亦絲亦絨的質感，風格優雅如歐洲佳釀，真不像澳洲酒呢！