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Katnook Estate Merlot Mastery reveals special international guest

Katnook Estate is pleased to announce its special guest at the inaugural Katnook Estate Merlot Mastery event — Bordeaux based global winemaker, Jacques Lurton.

The Katnook Estate Merlot Mastery event will focus on the much debated and often misunderstood noble Bordeaux variety, Merlot. The often misunderstood variety is integral to some of the best Bordeaux in the world but is often dismissed as a simple wine with no backbone and little complexity.

Jacques Lurton and his brother Francois belong to one of the most highly reputed families in the Bordeaux wine business and head the aptly named global wine producing company Jacques & Francois Lurton. Their business today owns wineries and vineyards in Bordeaux, Languedoc, Spain, Argentina, Chile and Portugal. Jacques has also established his own vineyard on our very own Kangaroo Island called The Islander Estate.

Jacques winemaking career began with a degree in Oenology Institute of Bordeaux in 1983 after which he went on to work in Australia at McWilliam’s and Petaluma followed by a stint in California before returning to France to oversee the winemaking operations at his family’s Chateaux. In late 1988 he established his own business with his brother, Francois.

“I have worked with Jacques and have the utmost respect for his work and achievements – we are delighted to have him as our guest at the Merlot Mastery, his contribution will be integral to the Merlot debate,” winemaker for Katnook Estate, Wayne Stehbens said.

The announcement of Jacques Lurton’s involvement coincides with the much anticipated release of the 2005 Katnook Estate Merlot with its distinct and unique Coonawarra characteristics.

This new release wine will be showcased at the Katnook Estate Merlot Mastery among the best examples of Merlot in the world in an exercise that will educate and ignite a new interest in Merlot.

“We’ve tapped into something with the Katnook Estate Merlot 2005 – this is the best Merlot we’ve produced since 2000,” enthuses Wayne Stehbens.

“The essence of a good Merlot is palate structure and I like this wine for all the right reasons – plenty of weight yet still soft and smooth, fruit is well presented and tannin consistent – it’s ripe but not too ripe and very much within the Merlot vision.”

Katnook Estate’s Merlot Mastery will be facilitated by renowned UK wine critic and commentator, Matthew Jukes who will lead our expert panel in discussion on the merits of Merlot. The panel will include James Halliday, chief winemaker for Katnook Estate, Wayne Stehbens, Katnook Estate esteemed viticulturist, Chris Brodie and Jacques Lurton.

Three vertical tastings and one horizontal tasting will be presented comparing a range of styles structured to highlight variances in regional characteristics from the Old and New World.

Katnook Estate’s Merlot Mastery will take place on 28 November 2007 at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne and includes a structured tasting, a regional tasting of Australian Merlots and a three course dinner. Seats are limited to 100 and tickets are $295 per person.

For bookings contact Jo Jericho at the Wingara Wine Group on 03 9682 5000.

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